Employees file photo / Greg Macafee
Youngstown State men’s basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun shouts out path to his players in the course of their road matchup against Cleveland State.

YOUNGSTOWN — Fresh off his most effective season because taking more than Youngstown State men’s basketball, Jerrod Calhoun currently is turning to what’s subsequent.

The Penguins wrapped their season up Wednesday evening, finishing 24-ten general and generating their debut in the NIT by way of a Horizon League frequent season title.

But, Calhoun says, sustaining that good results and taking additional actions will need investment.

“I assume there’s got to be a commitment,” Calhoun mentioned. “It begins proper now — we do not have time to waste. We require to upgrade this arena (the Beeghly Center) in the worst way. The portal is open. … We have to get players, we have to retain players. And I assume the subsequent point is the NIL — name, image and likeness.”

To that finish, Calhoun mentioned he and his employees have met with a handful of potential newcomers currently, and one particular point continues to lead the conversation.

“The initially point they ask is, ‘Where’s your (NIL) collective revenue? Exactly where do you guys stand in your league?’” Calhoun noted. “So we require help. And the help at times is revenue, and that is the bottom line. So we’ll be one hundred miles an hour raising revenue for an arena, but the initially point is we have to attack this portal, mainly because we did a heck of a job final year with it. So it can be carried out once again.”

That, of course, is the new age of collegiate athletics and recruiting. And no matter whether fans like it or not, each the NIL and the transfer portal are right here to remain.

As of Friday evening, 576 Division I players have entered the portal, according to VerbalCommits.com, a web page which tracks recruiting and transfer portal movement. That is more than the course of much less than a week, as the portal opened Monday. YSU had not but lost any players to the portal, but has shown interest in various.

“Everybody says we’ll be in a rebuild, but I assume all 11 teams (in the Horizon League) will be in a rebuild,” Calhoun mentioned. “We’ll see what occurs more than the subsequent two or 3 days with the portal. You will have players that you do not assume will leave you, similar point with other teams. The entire landscape has changed.”

For the most element, Calhoun says YSU has lots to sell potential student-athletes. The Penguins have constructed a winning system, had the third-most effective attendance mark in the Horizon League this season and played an fascinating, higher-scoring style.

“There’s a lot of items involved in the recruitment of student-athletes,” he mentioned. “Here, we can sell that we have the most effective fanbase in this region. We draw much more than a lot of MAC schools, we draw much more than (a majority) of the Horizon. So if I’m a player, why would I not want to come right here? It is cost-free-flowing — we score 82 points a game. We treat these guys wonderful. The coaches and the administration are major notch.

“We fundraise, and we run this point as close to a higher main as we can, so I do not know why you wouldn’t want to come to Youngstown, Ohio, proper now.”

But, of course, facility upgrades and steady NIL revenue never ever hurt, either, in what’s turn out to be an arms race across collegiate athletics.

As far as NIL funds go, a new collective known as The Penguin Collective has formed to help in these efforts. Youngstown State also is conducting an NIL townhall six-7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the DeBartolo Stadium Club inside Stambaugh Stadium to enable spread awareness and facts about how the NIL landscape can be constructed at YSU.

“Somebody’s got to commit financially, no matter whether that is a donor or whoever, to enable us get to exactly where we require to go,” Calhoun mentioned. “Whether that is by way of a new arena, no matter whether that is by way of the NIL revenue, that is what it is, mainly because we have all the things we require right here. We’ve got to see if we can get it carried out.”

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