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May 04, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Donors give WSU funds to enhance programs helping athletes with NIL

Entrepreneurship education for Washington State University’s (WSU) student-athletes is expanding thanks to a generous financial commitment from two alumni of the institution.

The “Student-Athlete Entrepreneurship Initiative,” scheduled to launch this summer, will provide programming for student-athletes in entrepreneurship and business education through collaborative efforts between WSU Athletics and the Carson College of Business from which the alumni couple – Dan and Joanne Castles – graduated in 1978.

As readers might expect, the new program is in response to the action by the National Collegiate Athletic Association nearly a year ago that allows college athletes to benefit financially from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). The “Student-Athlete Entrepreneurship Initiative” will use NIL opportunities to help student-athletes explore potential careers, build professional networks, develop business skills, and interact with other faculty and students from disciplines across campus.

Because of Castles’ gift, the initiative will add a full-time athletics staff position focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating the initiative’s curriculum. The new programming for student-athletes includes opportunities to visit companies in Seattle, Spokane, and Silicon Valley during the summer for professional development tours. The goal is to expand internship possibilities, networking, and eventual job placements for student-athletes.

Click here to learn more about the WSU initiative. Just ahead of the start of the 2021-22 academic year, we reported on an internally-funded class at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to help college students, including athletes, with NIL. That article can be found here.

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