Gophers Coach PJ Fleck on Art, Architecture and Travel

NIL, or Name, Image and Likeness was the hot topic of the college football talk season. No surprise, he came back several times during several media days. We asked Minnesota coach PJ Fleck what the deal of his dreams would have been, when he was playing in Northern Illinois, if it had existed in his day.

“I’m in love with architecture,” the former NIU wide receiver said today during his podium session, “so the Sears Tower at the time, probably something like that. a big fan of John Deere lawn mowers Believe it or not, so that would have been John Deere lawn mowers at Sears, because in DeKalb there aren’t many.

(Audio discussing all of this in more detail is above – it’s great listening, as it covers his love of modern architecture and art that he’s seen in Europe)

Fleck is excited, on the whole, about the seismic change that is happening in college sports.

“I’m excited for the name, the image and the likeness,” said the Sugar Grove, IL native.

“I think it’s great. Our location, the Twin City area, the three and a half million people that we have in our city, the 18 Fortune 500 companies, is not a small college town.

“Change is inevitable… We have companies galore and now we have the opportunity for our players to benefit from their names with all of these companies, we cannot be part of the organization of that, but they have all these resources to. their disposal, at your fingertips.

“Now there is no Minnesota state law yet, so we have to be able to follow the NCAA and of course the University of Minnesota guidelines. “

Obviously, a shattering seismic change like this is going to lead to externalities, side effects and collateral damage, and PJ Fleck explained this.

“The great thing that we have to keep doing is keep adding education because with the name, the image and the likeness come things like taxes, scams, agents,” he said. .

(More audio on that is below – he also made a really good point about how much we’ve all changed since the start of the pandemic, and how we’re all enjoying this season more than ever, and if you don’t. ‘enjoy no more, or haven’t grown up, so well, just listen)

“We have to continue to educate the student-athlete and this is what we have already incorporated into our program. We’ve had the Gopher Life program, which was the Bronco For Life program, for nine years now, talking to them about finances, taxes, everything we’ve done …

… I mean you don’t want a player to go to jail for tax evasion, there are a lot of things they never had to worry about before that now they have to worry about, and there is options for whether you want to be part of it or not.

“There’s a lot of responsibility to that, and it’s something that’s constantly evolving and there’s a learning curve, and we’re all going to learn from it.”

Paul M. Banks is the owner / manager of The bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America”, as well as “No I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons from a Lifetime in the Sports Media Industry. “

He has appeared regularly in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast. Follow it to Twitter and Instagram. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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