Basketball

Pollard sounds off on NIL, changing landscape of college sports and more in interview on Murph & Andy

Iowa State director of athletics Jamie Pollard appeared on Murph & Andy on 106.3 KXnO in Des Moines on Thursday to discuss wide-ranging topics like name, image and likeness, the We Will Collective, Tyrese Hunter’s transfer from Iowa State, the changing business of college athletics and much more during a nearly 40-minute conversation.

You can read that entire conversation below or find the podcast here.

Keith Murphy: No one seems to know with certainty where this is headed or what it means but one man who is never hesitant to tell you what he thinks is the Director of Athletics at Iowa State University, Jamie Pollard. Jamie, welcome back. How are you doing? How are you feeling? First of all,  you’ve had a couple of health problems that we’ve known about. You okay?

Jamie Pollard: I’m fine. Age is so wonderful, though, isn’t it?

Keith Murphy: Yeah, it is. 

Andy Fales: Carries a lot of baggage with it.

Pollard: I don’t know why I thought I was the one person that was going to defy age, but I’m not.

Murphy: Yeah. Tell me about it. Well, I’m glad you’re doing better. And we have a lot of ground to cover here. But as we start, we want to point out to anybody that doesn’t know that the collective like in the case of Iowa State, the one we know about the We Will Collective is that is done by boosters and supporters. And in some cases, past players and coaches of Iowa State University, it’s not Iowa State University itself, which is where Jamie Pollard works. But Jamie, in this in this new world, what is your top concern, your top concern when it comes to these booster collectives?

Pollard: Well, let me back up first, I think it’s important for the listeners and, you know, for Cyclone fans, and, you know, I’m not losing sleep over this. You know, I know, if you were to go into the chat room or listen to talk radio, or you know, or most people in this space, you know, are all, it’s the fanatic part of fan, right? And so, there’s a lot of what I call emotion, irrational, a lot of uninformed. And so what I can tell you from Iowa State’s perspective, Coach Campbell Coach Otzelberger, all our coaches, you know, we’re looking at this as a huge opportunity, because we kind of liken it back to when COVID hit. And those athletic departments that have great cultures, that don’t make promises they can’t deliver on, and that have a calm, steady leadership, will be the ones that succeed. And you know, right now, we’re 20th in the nation in the Director’s Cut, we’ve never been in that rare air. You know, we just won the Cy-Hawk Series. And people go, why are we having our best year ever athletically. And we all liken it back to two years ago at the beginning of COVID, when we said, Whoever weathers this, the best will come out of it the other end first, and in the best shape. And so if you recall, our coaches took pay cuts, they gave up their bonuses, we didn’t lay off one person. And when we talked about it, we said, you know, we can lay off all the quotes, you know, easy to get rid of people, custodians, the equipment managers, you know, all the entry-level people. But it’ll cost us in the long run, because we won’t be ready when it comes back. And so I take a lot of faith from that in this space. The waters are turbulent, it’s choppy, you know, Coach Campbell, and I spent a great deal of time talking about it this week, we think we’re the best positioned to deal with it. Because we feel our culture, our leadership will find the pathway forward. And we just have to weather the storm. And so I want that overview to be out there. Because there’s just so much misinformation out there in the marketplace right now. And panic. And I get it. And you know, there are days I have to remind myself to stay calm. But we’ll get through it. And we’ll come through it the other side better, stronger. And I’m convinced Iowa State will come out of this in a really good place. So I wanted to give that overview. Now back to your direct question. Unless you have a comment. I’ll go to your question.

Murphy: No, I appreciate hearing what you have to say there and I’m sure that fans of both Iowa State and other teams hearing that will take something from that because you’re right. There is a lot of panic out there in some cases anger. So no, I’m interested to hear more.

Pollard: I’ll give you a great example of it because you know, all you know is what you know, right? And, and I’ll even go back further. You know, Coach Campbell and I laughed, we lose to Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana, whoever it was, right? And the world is over that season. Coach Campbell can’t coach. We’re this we’re that it’s all over and we go to the Fiesta Bowl and win the Fiesta Bowl that year. Go figure, right? You can’t panic. Right? So, and misinformation, I was kidding  Coach Fennelly because the athletic director in Texas called me last week, he was calling me about the AAU thing. And it was the morning we had just lost to Texas in tennis at the (Big 12 Championships). And I said, you know, you beat us in tennis this morning. And he goes, Well, it’s about time we beat you in something. You know, you’re kicking us in football. You just landed the next Brittney Griner over us. And I’m like, What? What? And he goes, Yeah, the gal you just got from The Master’s University, you know, the 6’6″ basketball player, you know, her mom and dad played at Texas. She’s supposed to come here. And he goes, but you guys obviously paid a lot more for her than we were willing to pay. And I just kind of chuckled because we didn’t pay a cent. You know, to so I called Coach Fennelly. And I said, ‘That’s how rumors start.’ Texas can’t handle the fact that Coach Fennelly out recruited them. So it must be because we paid to land this young lady. And so I just laugh. Because when I hear about, you know, and I’m not saying there’s not athletes getting paid, but when I hear all this rumor stuff, I just go, ‘Oh my gosh, folks. Step away from the ledge.’ You know, it’s never exactly what it is. So, to your question about the collective, you know, so the collective, you know, it’s a vehicle, it’s a vehicle that can be used to help navigate this new space. But it’s not at Iowa State going to be used ever for how most people, you know, when you go on the chat rooms, that’s what you hear. You know,  ‘We’re doing this to buy players.’ I can tell you this right now, Coach Otzelberger and Coach Campbell have both tell told me, the day that they have to buy a player is the day that they’re going to go coach Division III, okay? Because that’s not who they are. That’s not who we are. And that’s not how Iowa State will be successful. We’ve said it all along, we have to make promises that we can keep, and that we’re going to be successful at Iowa State if we worry about how these young men and young women finish, not how they start. And if somebody that, you know, I’ve met with four basketball recruits in the last week and a half, the one young man, awesome. I asked him why he wanted to transfer to Iowa State. And he said, ‘I want to be on a team, I don’t want to be with a group of people that are worried about where their paychecks coming from.’ And he said, ‘I want to be on a team where we win as a team.’ And I looked at TJ in the meeting, and I said, ‘Can the AD choose who does all press conferences for our basketball team?’ Because that’s who we are. And for every situation that we can identify where somebody got money, I’ll give you 200 athletes that could care less about that. That still want to be a student-athlete. Yes, they want an opportunity, you know, if they can make a few bucks off a T-shirt here or there, that’s great. But that’s not what they’re looking to do. And but we’ve painted them all, we’ve painted them all with one big broad brush. And that’s really unfortunate, because we’ve got 450 student-athletes, and I can tell you, you know, 99 percent of them are excited to wear the cardinal and gold, they love what the resources they have provided to them, those that can take advantage of the NIL and, you know, make a T-shirt or go sign autographs or do things have been able to do that. And they’re not worried about am I signing with an agent or an agency. And so the collective, you know, under the current rules, provides an opportunity to, you know, potentially, and I say potentially raise some funds that could be used not to get players to come here, but in certain situations where we want to try to supplement somebody’s NIL. And what that is, we’re gonna have to figure that out over the next two to three years. So I’m excited that that group has decided to get together and do it. I feel comfortable because it’s great. You know, Ryan Harklau is an awesome individual. You know, Jason Loutsch. Enough said. Dan McCarney, Georges Niang, you know, those are good people. And so I’m not worried about them kind of going off the ranch and doing something that we don’t want them doing.

Fales: So, Jamie, how much contact or involvement with those in the collective or about the collective, can you have or do you plan to have?

Pollard: You know, so how much can you have is really unclear and that, you know, that’s unfortunate. It’s just the landscape we’re in. You know, are you following the letter of the law, or are you just, you know, not paying attention to the law. Secondly, you know, how much have we had? I’ve had very little, I mean, Ryan Harklau and I met about it a week ago. You know, I think at this stage, you know, we’re more neutral to it. I think it needs to evolve. They’re gonna have some growing pains. I don’t think just hanging a shingle and having people donate, I’ve done this for 17 years, people don’t part with their money without expectations and without a lot of hard work. And so it doesn’t, you just don’t hang a shingle and all of a sudden people give money. And then secondly, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of unintended consequences. You know, I think it’s great that they want to line up with charities, but at the same time, if the narrative is, well, Iowa State athletes only do charity work, if they get paid, that’s horrible. Or, you know, a football player, you know, or, or another student-athlete says, I’m not going to do you know, my Thanksgiving baskets, or my, you know, whatever we do around Thanksgiving and Christmas for the community, because I want to be paid like that athlete got paid to do charity work. You know, that wouldn’t be good for anybody. So I think we got to just work our way through that. Will we skin our knees? Absolutely. No one, you know, this is new territory. And so it’s, you know, it’s, we can’t prescribe it, nor do I want to prescribe it because I don’t even know what I’d really be prescribing. Because it is so unchartered. What I go back to is just what our culture is. And, you know, we’re going to be successful at Iowa State, when we have locker rooms full of young men and young women that are in it for the right reasons. Doesn’t mean that they can’t make money on the side. But they still have to be in it for the right reason. Because we’re never going to attract a locker room full of five-star athletes that we can win without culture.

Murphy: One of the things I’m hearing the most from fans is that they feel spread thin. And now there’s another ask. So what would you say to a loyal Cyclone fan with limited discretionary income, who is trying to figure out how his or her money can most help Iowa State athletics?

Pollard: Well, I think they have to, you know, kind of look and say, what do they want to get from their money, and if it’s tickets and parking, then they’ll continue to support the athletics program through the Cyclone Club. If it’s they have the ability, and the desire to want to try to, you know, help give direct money to a student-athlete in an NIL situation, they can go through the collective. They can also go through our exchange, you know, we have a through our electronic exchange that’s been set up where we match our student-athletes with businesses that want to, you know, have a connection with a student-athlete in an NFL environment. You know, and so, it really goes back to, you know, what does the individual want to do with their funds? You know, and that’s a personal choice. And, but that’s okay. You know, because, again, this isn’t going to be a get rich, you know, it’s just not. And I think that’s what we’re gonna find out in two or three years, because let’s face it, okay, here’s the real root of all of this guys. For years, certain schools have been paying athletes in the dark night. For years, certain schools have been paying athletes in the dark of night. All this has done is let you do it in the sun, you know, in the daytime. And so schools are now bragging and being very open about what they’re doing because now they can, and if, you know, kind of to their advantage, but what I’d come back and tell you is LSU, we beat them in basketball this year in the NCAA Tournament. That roster was full of student-athletes being paid, because their coach just got fired for paying, and was quoted and recorded on tape, you know, saying something I won’t repeat on your airwaves. But that roster was full of paid student-athletes. And who made it to the round of 32? Iowa State. Okay, there was another program we beat earlier in the year that has a long history of being on probation for paying student-athletes, and has a roster full of NBA five-stars. And we beat them because we beat them with culture. You know, and so that, you know, has already been there. And so in some ways, nothing’s changed other than they can now be, you know overt about it.

Murphy: So you don’t see this as widening the gulf between the haves and have-nots?

Pollard: Time will tell, time will tell. I think there’s other things happening in our industry that will widen that gap. But you know, I’m watching Tennessee, you know, brag about what they’re doing and paying. Good luck. Good luck. Have fun with it. You know, because I don’t know what you do. You know, what do you tell the rest of your locker room if they’re not being paid, but the new recruit freshman is being paid? You know, that just destroys culture. And, you know, but hey, if that’s what you got to do to try to catch up to Alabama then have at it. We’re not trying to beat Alabama. We’re trying to be the best version of Iowa State.

Fales: So what was your reaction to Tyrese Hunter’s departure?

Pollard: Well, the timing of it was unfortunate, because I think our fans have jumped to conclusions. You know, Tyrese’s situation is unique to Tyrese. I mean, he’s got a well-documented really tough lot in life. Tyrese would like to be in the NBA and get that money. And so would his family. The early return said that you’re not going to be drafted. The reality of is, if you’re not drafted, you can go in the G League, the NBA has a two-year window on being a two-way player. So if you’re a two-way player, you get a little less than $500,000 a year. But if you don’t make it, after two years, you get thrown back into the wolves, because they’re going to take another cheap labor, you know, somebody else two years after you. His camp recognized that was kind of what he could make if he wants to jump to the G League, but they also recognized he wasn’t ready to do that. And if he, you know, if he honed his craft a little better, he may be able to get past that, you know, but they needed the money. And so, you know, my understanding is, you know, he signed with either an agent or an agency that is going to provide him the equivalent of that money through, quote, ‘NIL,’ since you can’t sign with an agent, you know, and then they’ll go shop him to have them go play at another school where they’ve convinced him that it would be better for his marketability to be at a blueblood. You know, and I don’t fault him for that, because, you know, I didn’t walk in his life shoes and, and, you know, probably 99.9% of our fans can’t relate to his life, and his lot in life, you know, and so I don’t fault him for doing it. I wish it wasn’t the case. I hope it works out for him because he’s a great young man. But, we’ll move on. And, you know, as I said, I’ve you know, we had four recruits in with their parents over the last week and a half, three of them have already signed, fourth one, will probably be announced shortly. And those young men are fired up to come be at Iowa State and be in the best basketball conference in the country. And to them, that’s a huge opportunity for them to market themselves. And they weren’t asking for a dime. You know, and so each situation is unique. The unfortunate part with Tyrese is it just happened at a really bad time. Because I think our fans all, you know, ‘Oh, he got bought by this school or that school.’ Quite frankly, the school he ends up at may not be paying him a cent. Because my understanding is the agency is already paying him.

Murphy: Okay.

Fales: That’s interesting. 

Pollard: I mean, you guys are baseball guys, who’s the guy with the Padres? The shortstop. The guy started, it starts with a T. 

Fales: Oh, Fernando Tatis, Jr. 

Pollard: Yes. Google that article that came out about two weeks ago. You know, he signed with an agent when he was like a 16-year-old prospect. And the agent, you know, fronted some money to him in exchange for basically a really high percentage of all his future earnings. And that agent is making millions off of that $375 million contract. You know, and so, you know, that’s what concerns me about this landscape we’re going into is, I think a lot of these young men and you know, and, and maybe it’ll be some young women, but right now it’s young men are going to be taken advantage of in the short term, and I hope they don’t get discarded on the roadside, you know, and don’t end up in the pros and don’t end up with an education, because that’d be a big setback for some of them.

Murphy: We’re talking to Jamie Pollard, the Director of Athletics at Iowa State University so in listening to you because everything you said about Tyrese Hunter’s unique situation matches not only what I’ve heard, but also makes it, the unique timing of it, the coincidence if I’m hearing you correctly, you’re thinking, you’re saying that some of the stress and in some cases panic among Cyclone fans is just a coincidental timing of this one young man’s situation to need and want to benefit from all this that happened coincidentally at the same time.

Pollard: Absolutely, totally. There was no amount of money we were going to pay him that was going to change, kind of what that upside for him was in his mind, in his, you know, his, you know, his brother or whoever was kind of advising him in that situation, and I get it, you know, I totally get it. I don’t like it. But I get it. And you know, life will go on, because the fact of the matter is we won this year, he helped us win. We owe him for that. We should thank him for that. But the reason we won with him is because he was playing for the front of the jersey, and he helped us be a better team. But at this stage, he now is moved to a spot where, you know, he’s got to worry about the back of his jersey. And that’s okay, I totally get that. But that’s not in line with what TJ needs in his locker room. And not the recipe that TJ sees us winning at Iowa State. And so it’s just, you know, it was a perfect storm of, of a situation. You know, TJ didn’t like it, but he wasn’t panicked by, you know, Jeremiah Williams committed and Jeremiah Williams, you know, this is a huge opportunity for him now that he didn’t know he was going to have. He thought he was going to be backing up, you know, Tyrese, and now Jeremiah is going to be thrust into the end of the opportunity to start and be your point guard.

Murphy: So details of some of these collectives, for example, Horns with Hearts at Texas slots $50,000 per offensive lineman, regardless who’s wearing that jersey and the name on the back of the jersey in this case. So that does not sound like name, image, likeness to me. That sounds like a salary. So how do we get this back to NIL?

Pollard: I don’t know if you do. You know, but those salaries were already being paid, Keith. They just, you know, they weren’t, they weren’t out in the open because they were illegal. And, you know, and but I also come back and say, I’m convinced and when I talk to my peers around the country, two things are happening. Number one, I think there’s a lot of smoke, and not as much fire. There’s a lot of people saying they’re doing stuff. And let’s see them do it. And secondly, there’s going to be a ton of promises made, and promises broken. And, you know, I was really disappointed to hear a basketball coach I know, who said I’m gonna retire in three years. So what difference does it make? I’ll just promise it. It doesn’t matter. I’m not going to be here to be held accountable for it. You know, that’s, that’s really sad, really sad. And, you know, I’m really disappointed to hear, I didn’t, you know, that person didn’t tell that to me directly, they told somebody else. But if they did say that, I really have lost a lot of respect for that person. Because, you know what, go back to Coach Campbell, we are not going to violate the trust in our locker room. We will not promise something to young men that we’re not going to deliver on. And, and so I don’t know if you can get all that back. I think we’re just into a new age. And, you know, but what I’m more concerned about, are some of the things that I think are coming down the pipe, you know, that could radically change the business model of no scholarship limitations, you know, no sport requirements, things like that, that’ll that could cause a divide, but maybe that divide needs to be, maybe it needs to happen. You know, and if we need to have 30 schools, go play minor league sports and all their sports and let them go do it. You know, I thought coach Campbell said it best to me. He said, ‘Hey, if we’re going to be in that space, I’m going to the NFL, because at least there’s salary caps and there’s rules,’ because what you’re talking about right now has no salary caps and no rules. That’s a recipe for disaster. And he’s absolutely right. And if so, if a group of schools thinks that’s the way forward, have at it, because that’ll be a mess.

Murphy: How would you put that toothpaste back in the tube, though, to get these guide rails and rules in place?

Pollard: Well, you know, maybe yesterday’s announcement is the start of hopefully something good long term because I do think, you know, I don’t know Mark Emmert that well. I know he gets blamed for a lot. It’s probably never as bad or as good as it ever is. But I also liken it to, you know, there’s times you could just gotta make a coaching change, because you just need a new culture, right? And we definitely need new leadership. And that’s not an indictment on Mark Emmert, as much as it just, we need new leadership, new thoughts, new ideas. And I don’t have a crystal ball to know exactly what that was like. But I do know this and that several of us have kind of talked about this. You know, my kids all won state championships at Gilbert, and they felt just as good about being state champions as the kids at Valley and Dowling. And, you know, other than maybe Drake Relays, and put a plug in for the Drake Relays since it is this weekend, but other than Drake Relays, the kids in 2A aren’t trying to compete with the kids in 4A, but the 2A state championship feels just as good as the 4A state championship. That’s where we’ve messed up in college athletics. You know, the fans and the kids at North Dakota State feel really good about what they do in football. And I think it’s awesome. But the rest of their programs, you know, they’re really kind of competing for conference championships because they’re competing against the Alabamas and the Iowa States and the Iowas, in all their other sports. And there’s not really a viable pathway to a championship. And maybe there’s something to be learned from that. Maybe there is room for another division, that isn’t minor league sports, that does have some rules and parameters. You know, but that’s not going to happen tomorrow. But it could start happening in the near future with the right leadership.

Fales: So Jamie, that the crystal ball is cloudy looking into the future. But what about looking back? Through hindsight, I can only imagine the discussions that go on among athletics directors, what, in your opinion, could or should the NCAA have done about this years ago?

Pollard: Well, you know, again, it’s so easy to look back and throw stones. And, you know, we all know our society does that really, really well. And we’ve created platform on top of platform, so anybody can do that. The bottom line is the NCAA, who is us, you know, got into a situation where you can’t, you can’t do anything without being sued. And the only people making money were lawyers, and mark my words, there’s going to be another round of lawsuits over all these kids that are getting promised stuff that aren’t going to get what they were promised. And that’s going to result in somebody saying, ‘Well, we need to have unions to protect these kids.’ You know, and so, I don’t know if there was much we could have done, you know, absent an antitrust exemption. But you know, nobody, Congress didn’t want to go there. You know, the reason you don’t have this in NFL and Major League Baseball is because they got a trust exemption. And so they can set rules that everybody has to abide by, you know, and in our wacky industry, we, you know, one, we created way too many rules. But we did because you couldn’t trust anybody. And when you tried to, you know, put parameters down because you didn’t trust somebody, then somebody sued you. And so I don’t know, I don’t know if you could have changed where we’re at. I’m kind of a believer, and maybe I’m just a pessimist on this is we’ve got to crash and hit bottom before we can go forward. And I don’t think we’ve hit bottom yet. And that’s sad. Because right now it feels like it’s really bad at times. But, you know, I still think there’s a bottom that we haven’t hit. And that’s why again, I go back to our culture, and talking to our coaches and saying stay calm. You know, we got to we have to keep doing what we do really well. There’s enough young men and young women out there that still want to be in those environments. And we got to ride the storm out. And when we come out the other side, whatever the other side looks like, we’re going to be the best version of us and that’ll put us in the best position to be successful going forward.

Murphy: Fans love the transfer portal one moment and then hate it the next and as you well know as much as anyone loyalty is a big selling point of Iowa State. The transfer portal seems a little out of control to fans, is there a way to make it better?

Pollard: There’s always ways to make everything better, right? But do you have a willingness and enough willingness from enough people? You know, every time we try to make something people either sue us or say, you know, we’re trying to be too restrictive. I find it so ironic when I start hearing people now opine about how we need to put restrictions on the transfer portal. It was, gosh, it was 12 months ago, 18 months ago when we were told you can’t have any restrictions, you know, and so, yes, things can always be made better. But there’s got to be a collective willingness to do that. You know, and so again, I’m not overly concerned about the transfer portal right now. We’ve benefited from it. Probably… Not probably. We’ve benefited from it at Iowa State more than we’ve been hurt by it. That doesn’t mean we don’t have an occasional hurt. But, you know what, again, if you have a great culture, you know, you probably aren’t having too many people transfer out of it. You just aren’t, you know, and you know, men’s basketball is probably… 

Murphy: Oh, I think we lost Jamie there, let’s run a break here and come back and finish up with Jamie Pollard. 

*Break*

Murphy: Jamie Pollard, we certainly appreciate your time, Jamie. We’ve covered a lot of ground here. You said something earlier that was really interesting to me, I thought was a good point regarding the collective that’s gotten so much attention in the past week that you can’t look like players are only getting paid when they do charity work, or they’re only doing charity work to be paid? What would be your suggestion of how to make sure that doesn’t happen or that that appearance isn’t out there?

Pollard: Well, it starts with just acknowledging that that is a concern. I’m not, haven’t spent enough time on it, you know, and I’m not the one doing it. And you know, that’s going to be up to, you know, Connor Greene, and Ryan and them to figure out that way. All I did when I talked to Ryan was say, ‘That’s great, you know, and I get why you want to align yourself up to make it sound like it’s charity. But you need to be aware of the unintended consequences. And think that through.’ So I just go back to, Keith, as we, you know, we’re not going to prescribe what they do, they’re going to have to figure it out themselves. But I was just helping them think about that. Because, you know, in their shoes, they’re probably not thinking about that. But it’ll show up on my doorstep. Because it’ll you know, I’ll have a disgruntled female athlete, that’ll say, ‘How come the male athletes are getting paid for charity work?’ And or I’ll have some charity, they’ll want to know, why our athletes won’t come work, you know, come volunteer anymore, because they’re not getting paid. Those are just things. You know, those are to me obvious negatives that someone’s got to plan for. And so I don’t know how to get around those, there’s ways to get, there’s ways to make it work, it’s just, you know, you got to put up bumpers and figure that out, you know, and so that’s, again, these collectives are uncharted territory. And it’s gonna, it’s not going to be a smooth road.

Fales: You know, you bring up the athletes, or I guess I’m also a little concerned about what might potentially happen, I guess at any school with these collectives and their contact with, with the donors. And you know, you’ve been carefully building and tapping a network of donors at Iowa State for 17 years. I know that you know, and trust these guys with this collective. But still, they’re not. That’s outside of you. Are you concerned at all about others soliciting those donors, the contacts and promises that might be made to those donors?

Pollard: You know, yes, and no, I mean, I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on our donor base. Quite frankly, the Gridiron Club’s been a collective for the umpteen years, you know, they don’t have parking and tickets. They just have, you got access to football staff, you know, and there’s 600 donors, they raise about $300,000 a year, they don’t get anything but access. You know, those are the people that are going to be the likely candidates that would donate to that collective. You know, whether that, in the long run, puts the Gridiron Club out of business, that’s a whole, you know, that’s a legitimate question. And talked to the leadership of the Gridiron Club, you know, they’re gonna have to work with the collective and try to figure that out. The Gridiron Club is all about football. You know, but the collective has said well they’re going to be men’s basketball and football. You know, my response to the collective is, you know, we can’t jump on board and support you, you know, because I gotta worry about gender equity too. So I’ve got women’s athletes that I’ve got to worry about. So, you know, it’s just a space that’s gonna have to be navigated, but I also, you know, I’ve been here long enough I know how hard it is to raise money. Money is not, you know, those when you go on the chat rooms and people think, ‘Hey, we’re gonna have a collective and we’re gonna have all this money pouring in.’ You know, I hope I’m wrong because that would be awesome that we moved to a whole new territory. But I don’t see that coming. People don’t donate without, you know, good reason, a lot of hard sweat equity, trying to cultivate them to donate, if you want them to repeat their donation. You know, there’s just a lot of work and you know, that’s going to be something that collective is going to have to work their way through.

Murphy: Jamie Pollard, Director of Athletics at Iowa State, and I know you have another obligation we need to let you go. But I want to give you the final word here on just in speaking to fans in particular of Iowa State University, the main feedback we get are fans who are worried about Iowa State not being competitive, that this is moving to professional sports, that there’s no loyalty in amateur athletics anymore, NCAA athletics. Your overall general message to fans as they look ahead to Cyclone sports in the future.

Pollard: Is step away from the ledge, don’t panic. Life’s gonna be fine. College athletics is gonna go on in some form or fashion. Iowa State’s not going anywhere. We’ve got awesome, awesome coaches, and an incredible culture and we’re built for turbulent times. And we’ll come out of this better than we are today. Just like we did with COVID.

Murphy: Jamie, we appreciate your time. Thank you for staying so long here and chopping it up with us. Thank you.

Pollard: Alright guys, take care.

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.

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