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Penn State coach Mike Rhoades added to NEPA NIL event lineup

nate-mug-10.12.14by:Nate Bauer05/30/24


Penn State head coach Mike Rhoades year-end press conference

Penn State basketball head coach Mike Rhoades has spent his first year with the program working to boost its name, image, and likeness operation. Confident that the Nittany Lions could do so by connecting with fans and supporters, looping them in on the effort to bolster an infrequently successful program, the effort has involved ground work to build relationships throughout the region.

On June 6, Rhoades will continue those efforts in earnest.

Already on tap to hold a hoops-specific NIL event, presented by Happy Valley United at the West Shore Country Club in Camp Hill, Pa., Rhoades has also now been announced as a featured guest at a separate event later that evening. He’s joining forces with football head coach James Franklin and a handful of Nittany Lion football players to do so. Rhoades will also appear at the “We are… NEPA” event to be held at the Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter, Pa., located between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton.

Penn State event details, x2

Rhoades’ first NIL responsibilities on the day will come in the Harrisburg area beginning in the morning. Set to meet with program supporters at the West Shore Country Club, the luncheon will center on educating “how NIL could benefit” attendees businesses “as well as men’s basketball student-athletes through conversations with Rhoades, his staff and Happy Valley United’s staff.”

The event is to run from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will include complimentary food and drinks. Tickets are priced at $25 and are available now.

Just hours later, Rhoades will also make an evening push to supporters at the previously announced “We Are… NEPA” event. The NIL fundraising dinner and reception is set for 6-9 p.m. It will be held at the Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter, Pa. The venue sits just outside Pittston, Pa., between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre in northeast Pennsylvania. A VIP reception is being held for an hour before the main event. Tickets for the main reception are $125 for individuals, $250 for a pair, $350 for four, and $450 for six. 

Penn State players Liam Clifford, Julian Fleming, Beau Pribula, Kaytron Allen, Tyler Warren, Andrew Rappleyea, Nick Dawkins, Dominic DeLuca, Tyler Elsdon, Tony Rojas, and D’Von Ellies will also be in attendance.

Mike Rhoades details Penn State basketball NIL approach

Rhoades has been adamant about two tenets central to the program’s approach to NIL during his tenure at Penn State. On the front end, Rhoades has stressed the need to involve as many people in the Nittany Lions’ success, understanding that the effort toward stability and winning could best be achieved as a community.

“(We’re trying to) get people involved and be a part of our program,” Rhoades said. “I am friend-raising before I’m fundraising. I want to get as many people involved in our basketball program and feel a part of it in different ways… And I want people supporting our program to sweat with us, to be there with us. 

“The other side of it is, of course, the NIL. It’s a hot topic these days, but it’s something that we have to be very competitive in that arena. And I’ve been very active as the head coach here at Penn State of getting people on board for that. Getting people to support our players. Getting Happy Valley United to build a cool business model so we do it the right way.”

The second element is his resistence to letting NIL become the primary motivator in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes. Pushing back that the entire experience of a Penn State basketball player is paramount to dollars earned, Rhoades has insisted it won’t dictate the conversation.

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