As a student-athlete or passionate fan or committed supporter of West Virginia University Athletics you are no doubt aware of the massive changes impacting the world of intercollegiate sports. In particular, there’s a new ecosystem allowing student-athletes to monetize their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL), which has shaken the traditional notions of intercollegiate competition that have characterized college sports for many decades. The NCAA, forced by several state legislatures as well as the federal courts, opened the door to this new NIL universe on July 1, 2021, and the NIL marketplace has taken off like a rocket.
One of the developments we have been closely following is the creation of stand-alone commercial entities that are independent of a university but are committed to serving the student-athletes of a university by cultivating, arranging and facilitating NIL opportunities. In other words, these commercial entities are doing for the student-athletes what the institutions themselves are prohibited from doing. It is a brave, new world of intercollegiate athletics.
Obviously, there is a clear danger to the future success of WVU Athletics given the significant NIL opportunities that await prized recruits (and, increasingly so, undergraduate and graduate transfers) at competing Power 5 institutions. In order to address this situation in a timely and aggressive manner, Ken Kendrick and Oliver Luck, with the help of the Bowles Rice law firm, have established Country Roads Trust LLC, a company whose mission will be to both arrange NIL opportunities for our WVU student-athletes as well as accept contributions from Mountaineer supporters. This entity will ensure that WVU student-athletes are able to benefit from this new ecosystem just like their counterparts across the country.
As part of the launch of Country Roads Trust LLC we have created an Athlete Advisory Team of storied WVU sports figures who will provide counsel, guidance and advice to the Trust. Jerry West, Don Nehlen, Pat White, Darryl Talley, Da’Sean Butler, Mike Gansey, Ginny Thrasher, Pat McAfee, Jaida Lawrence Hart, Ashley Lawrence and Jedd Gyorko are just some of the Mountaineers who have agreed to serve on the Athlete Advisory Team.
Please know that Country Roads Trust, LLC, while serving the NIL needs of our student-athletes, will remain a stand-alone entity, independent of West Virginia University. Nonetheless, we are aligned closely with the mission of our alma mater and are committed to serve our student-athletes.
This statement of mission is not a solicitation to purchase securities of Country Roads Trust LLC. Before we solicit any funds, we will provide potentially interested investors with a questionnaire and other materials to determine their status as an accredited investor under the federal securities laws.
We’re excited about this new undertaking. The Country Roads Trust LLC team is ready to serve both Mountaineer student-athletes and our alma mater, West Virginia University.
Let’s Go Mountaineers!
WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
Are you a WVU student-athlete or a potential donor or business sponsor? Reach out to us today.
CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRUST
Support WestVirginia student-athletes in capitalizing on their name, image, and likeness.
Country Roads Trust, LLC is not a charitable organization, and no donations or contributions will be used for charitable purposes.