Howard’s Makur Maker Impacts HBCU Recruitment Ahead of Freshman Debut
Irwin Kishner, co-chair of Herrick's Sports Law Group, was quoted in Sportico and Yahoo Sports regarding Howard University's recruitment of Makur Maker, an ESPN top 100 basketball athlete. The article notes that Maker's arrival would have brought in unprecedented revenue for the university under normal circumstances, however, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, ticket sales and media revenue will be negatively impacted. As stated in the article, "[e]ven without fans and TV revenue, though, Howard’s athletic program will likely remain solid due to the donations the school has received from outside sources" that will help cover the basketball expenses as well as donations of significant equipment to expand COVID-19 testing.
“You couldn’t have picked a worse time to showcase talent but that said, the ability of Howard to actually attract that caliber of recruit speaks very highly of them,” said Kishner. “If they’re able to become one of these smaller go-to schools, that has lasting benefits for the university at large in [terms of] notoriety, reaching more fans and earning more revenue.”
The article reports that Howard University's head men's basketball coach believes that the arrival of Maker, coupled with the Black Lives Matter movement, has resulted in the school engaging in talks with multiple top-notch recruits who have "shown substantial interest in Howard." The university has received calls from numerous student-athletes who would like to be part of the "movement and the solution." He further commented that Maker's arrival will change the way that Howard University will be perceived athletically, and he "expects many athletes to follow in Makur Maker's footsteps."