Letter From the Executive Director: Opportunity Knocks

We’re at the start of a new era in college athletics. Everything is changing: College athletes are now allowed to monetize their name, image, and likeness while they are playing in the NCAA. Longhorns are already signing deals—read “Next Level” by Abby Carney

There are a lot of questions swirling about how this will change the culture of college sports, and whether we will lose something in the process. But on this subject, I’m an optimist. I believe the new policy will be an enormous boon for our student-athletes. We should be enthusiastically rooting for them, just as we do when they’re on the field. 

As a McCombs grad, I especially love that our athletes will start thinking about the business of sports long before they go pro or leave their playing days behind. What better learning bed could there be? 

The other reason I’m optimistic that this will be a good thing—not just for the players, but for the university—is that we have the best of the best when it comes to brands. If you want to perform on the biggest stage with the brightest lights and put on one of the most storied uniforms in the history of sports, you come to Texas. You come to the university that sits in the heart of one of the most exciting cities on the planet, where marketing has become an art form. Think of how this will change the pitch for recruiters as they work to attract players from all around the country. 

As the next century is defined, the Texas Exes will be supporting these athlete-entrepreneurs with everything we’ve got. We’ll help our alumni-run businesses book Longhorn athletes for their events, be the face of their brand, and endorse their services on social media. What a great example of Longhorns helping Longhorns—which is the cornerstone of our work at the Exes. The possibilities are endless. We are going to connect alumni pride with student ambition and make it a win-win for all involved. 

Our first exclusive event for the Longhorn Business Network is coming up, and it will feature experts weighing in how best to tap into that burnt-orange spirit and leverage the NIL policy. If you’d like to get in on the ground floor with us, go to TexasExes.org to learn more and to create a free listing for your Longhorn owned or operated business. 

The success of this new era will be 100 percent athlete-driven; it’s up to them to make the most of their time at UT. And, as always, we’ll be cheering them on. 

Hook ’em, 

Chuck Harris, BBA ’86, Life Member 

Executive Director, the Texas Exes 


Credit: Courtesy UT Media


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