Temple University’s Black Athletic Director Not A Fan of NIL Deals, Causing School To Struggle Financially
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Temple University in Philadelphia was once a strong force for athletics, but recently things have gone downhill. Leadership at the TUFF Fund, an organization started by a group of Temple alumni, says the school is struggling to keep up with other schools with NIL deals and finances.
“There’s a strategic alliance and alignment at other universities that are having far greater success in the NIL space, in the athletic space and the university space in general,” TUFF’s Executive Director Andy Carl said. “We are siloed. We are kind of partitioned off. Simply put, we’re just not there, and we have tried, we continue to try to best align ourselves to have that success, but ultimately, the university has made a decision that they are comfortable with how the alignment is.”
Temple’s Athletic Director, Arthur Johnson, joined the school in 2021 with a mission to keep winning. His experience overseeing billion-dollar projects, according to the Philly Tribune, and working at top schools, including Arizona State and North Carolina at Chapel Hill, made him the perfect candidate for success at Temple. The school already had a partnership with a consulting company named ADVANCE NIL; however, when he arrived, he was hesitant about continuing to allow student-athletes to cash in on NIL (name, image, and likeness) deals as he feared it would take them away from what’s important–their education.
Without a proper strategy, the Owls will continue to struggle. The organization’s only donation came from a former student-athlete who was cut from the baseball team in 2013. Requests to alums playing in the NFL were shot down. Carl and Johnson have sat down to discuss improving Temple’s NIL placement, but Johnson doesn’t see finding a solution as a priority. “There isn’t an all hands on deck, everyone pulling together, to say, ‘Hey, these are the expectations of the program, our department, and the university, and this is what is needed,’” Carl said.
“There’s just no clear or concise vision.”
In November 2023, important athletic stakeholders met with the school’s Board of Trustees, without members of Temple Athletics, to break down the importance of NIL deals. Discussions were allegedly productive, and hopefully, things will change. With Johnson’s eye on community, school, and student relations, there is no telling if NIL deals will ever make it on his priority list.