The love and passion of sports has led Class of 1968 alumnus Richard Kent to pursue a new professional venture as both an adjunct sports law professor and business partner with SANIL, a sports agency that helps collegiate student-athletes navigate ownership of their name, image, and likeness.
Richard teaches sports law at both Fairfield University and Manhattanville College.
“With the ever-changing landscape and rising popularity of the commercialization of college athletics, student-athletes now have the opportunity to focus on academics, play sports, network, and build their personal brand at the maximum level,” said Richard. “Students not only have complete ownership on how their image is used commercially, but now have a seat at the table when it comes to securing partnerships and recognition.”
SANIL represents student-athletes from about 20 colleges and universities including Rutgers University, University of Oklahoma, Bryant University, Grand Canyon University, University of Notre Dame, and more. The agency works as the middle man to secure financing for the student-athletes through collectives, which are comprised of donors and booster members. These members solicit the money that is added to a general funding pod and distributed to the players for endorsements, media appearances, autographs, etc. Donors and booster members do include alumni from all the different schools.
Richard met business partner and SANIL founder Jason Belzer at a sporting event at Rutgers University about seven years ago. The two hit it off immediately as they both were undergraduates at Rutgers and also understood the nature of collegiate athletics. Together with other agency employees, Richard and Jason help student-athletes understand the differences between the rules of the NCAA, state legislation, and best practices to expand their opportunities. Richard also represents a number of NCAA basketball coaches in terms of contract negotiations.
“Our intent is to help student-athletes explore all their options within the industry with as much transparency as possible,” said Richard. “We always look out for their best interest, and the success we have had is due to the trust Jason and I have built with the student-athletes.”
Aside from the business, Richard has authored and published a number of books covering athletics including Roger Federer: Back On Top, Inside Women's College Basketball: Anatomy of a Season, and Big East Confidential. Richard also announces as color commentator for men’s basketball games at Yale University.
Richard was recently honored at a St. John’s basketball game at Madison Square Garden for his involvement with the Howard Garfinkel Foundation.
Richard graduated from Rutgers in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree. He went on to obtain his J.D. from Boston College in 1975. He was a partner at Meyers, Breiner & Kent, a law firm in Fairfield, Conn., until the team dissolved the business in 2021 as Richard is now focused on SANIL. Richard has two daughters, Lindsey and Sarah. He and his wife Lisa currently live in Westport, Conn. In 2013, Richard was a recipient of an Alumni Achievement Award from Hamden Hall.