EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter responded to backlash he received on Monday for a comment he made at the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics’ winter meetings.
Senter is not a member of the Knight Commission and was one of the athletic directors on the panel.
Dennis Dodd, a reporter for CBS Sports, tweeted that Senter made the following comment with regards to the changing college culture and NIL: “In 12-18 months it’s kind of like the inmates are running the prison.”
Dodd later deleted the tweet, after incorrectly making the distinction that Senter was a member of the Knight Commission. Senter quickly received backlash on social media for the comments that appeared to compare student-athletes to prison inmates.
Now in his sixth season as UTEP’s athletic director, Senter soon replied with an explanation and a clarification of his comments, saying it was about boosters and had nothing to do with student-athletes. He also admitted that he could have phrased it better.
“The context of my NIL comment is that overzealous and unscrupulous people may be dictating recruiting and movement of student athletes from one place to another. For the last 40 years the NCAA and administrators have worked to remove boosters. I could have used a better analogy,” Senter wrote.
KTSM reached out to Senter for comment regarding the matter. Senter said that he has no problem with NIL when it’s done by student-athletes themselves in order to improve their own brands. However, Senter said, it’s the, “pay-for-play,” that has come into play with boosters getting involved with NIL that he takes issue with.
Senter reiterated to KTSM that his comments in that moment had nothing to do with student-athletes and that he wished he’d used a different phrase to describe booster’s involvement in NIL.