AmplifyU satisfies key requirements under Texas law on educating student-athletes on NIL, but as a formal program associated with a top-tier business school, it goes far beyond. “When we first met with Athletic Director Ross Bjork, his main comment was, ‘I want a real partnership. I don't want just a press release,’” Parish reported.
Indeed, the main mission is to develop well-rounded athletes who compete in any sport, from swimming to softball, and to prevent the kind of disasters that too often befall retired athletes. “A large percentage of professional athletes go broke after their playing days because they don't know how to be the CEO of their own career,” Sinatra said.
Dat Nguyen ’98, a former Aggie linebacker, certainly has done well after his seven seasons as a Dallas Cowboy. He is now a successful Chick-fil-A franchise owner but still wishes a program like AmplifyU had been available to him. “Something like this would have helped me tremendously with my transition from playing to the business world,” he said. “We never had a chance for internships because we had limited time between sports and academics.”
When Jaden Harris ’26, a high jumper and triple jumper on the Aggie track and field team, found out about AmplifyU, he said signing up for the January session was a “no brainer.” Most valuable to him was learning about loans, credit cards, starting and keeping a business, and employee management. “These topics will help me with a base knowledge of business and how to talk to people,” said Harris, who hopes to become a model or actor in the future. “Learning how to network will be a big part of my success.”
AmplifyU’s creators would like to see the program become a permanent fixture at Texas A&M to serve the hundreds of student-athletes who compete across 20 Aggie teams every year. The idea is to offer it twice a year, with one block in January before the spring semester and one in May after the term. “We hope we can get most athletes during their offseason,” Parish explained.