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NCCU Athletic Director Requested To Clarify ‘Inaccuracies’ About Peak Sports’ Contract At Next Board Meeting



NCCU Athletic Director Requested To Clarify ‘Inaccuracies’ About Peak Sports’ Contract At Next Board Meeting

HOUSTON — On Monday, HBCU Legends received a communication from Peak Sports’ legal counsel, Cooper Walker of Frost Echols LLC, out of Dallas, Texas. Peak Sports has retained Mr. Walker regarding the comments from NCCU athletic director Dr. Skip Perkins about the contract between NCCU and Peak Sports.

HBCU Legends contacted Mr. Walker for an official comment from Peak Sports President Ryan Holloway. Walker responded to our request with the following statement:

“Peak Sports has no desire to sue North Carolina Central University.  Peak Sports greatly values its relationship with North Carolina Central University and looks forward to working together for many years to come.  Peak Sports’ only motivation in sending its letter to the Board of Trustees was to provide the truth regarding the inaccurate statements made by Dr. Perkins regarding Peak Sports.” — Cooper Walker, Legal Representative for Peak Sports

Trei Oliver

Dec 17, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; North Carolina Central Eagles head coach Trei Oliver (white shirt) celebrates after defeating the Jackson State Tigers to win the Celebration Bowl in overtime at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Walker raised concerns about Dr. Perkins’ remarks during a June 2024 North Carolina Central University Board of Trustees meeting.   

Dr. Perkins remarked to the Board: “One of our biggest issues besides the insurance was our corporate sponsorships, were at my last board meeting. We have signed a 10-year deal with a corporate sponsorship company…where they get 40% of all of our corporate sponsorships. So, that hurts us too. So I think they signed somewhere around a little over half a million. Well, they got their 40% and we got the 60. But we could sell that ourselves. And this is another interesting part about it. If we go out and sell it on our own, they still get a percentage of what we sell.”

According to the contract, Walker contends Dr. Perkins was “factually inaccurate.”

In a review of the letter, Walker highlighted three inaccuracies and gave the exact terms of the agreement:

NCCU Basketball

Dec 5, 2023; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; North Carolina Central Eagles guard Po’Boigh King (35) shoots the ball over Virginia Cavaliers guard Ryan Dunn (13) in the first half at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

  1. “Peak Sports gets 40% of everything sold.”
  2. “Peak Sports gets 40% of items sold by the institution.”
  3. “NCCU tried numerous times to get out of the contract.”

First, Walker outlines the following terms of the NCCU-Peak Sports contract:

  1. NCCU receives 100% of the revenue between $0 and $100,000. This is the guaranteed amount each year.
  2. Peak Sports receives 100% of the revenue between $100,000 and $275,000. (This amount paid to Peak Sports is far below the industry standard. These monies are used, in part, to cover Peak Sports’ expenses, which total over $225,000 per year.)
  3. Revenue above $275,000 is shared, with 60% going to NCCU and 40% going to Peak Sports. (The industry standard is a 50/50 split.)

The North Carolina Central University Sound Machine marching band practice Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, ahead of the Circle City Classic Parade in downtown Indianapolis. / Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY

Walker countered by sharing that Perkins sent an addendum resolving the exclusivity issue to Peak Sports on May 5, 2023.

Peak Sports President Ryan Holloway and Vice President Wesley Abercrombie attended a meeting at North Carolina Central University with Athletic Director Dr. Skip Perkins, General Counsel Fenita Morris-Shepard, and Assistant University Legal Counsel Bradley Hicks.   

Both parties agreed to modify the contract, allowing the NCCU athletic director to “raise funds where Peak Sports would receive no credit.” Walker continued, stating, “From his start date of June 1, 2022, he has always had the ability to raise revenue from donations from both individuals and businesses.”

The Charlotte Post quoted Perkins saying, “We have met with (legal) counsel multiple times to try to find a way to get out of this contract. The guy is not going to let us out.”

The letter outlines dates of correspondence and voicemails between Perlkins and Peak Sports. One interesting exchange was a 13-minute conversation on April 30, 2024. “Dr. Perkins went on to share that the Board of Trustees was pressuring him to raise revenue. Ryan Holloway reminded Dr. Perkins that he has the ability to do so now that Peak Sports removed the exclusivity clause from the contract. Peak Sports also shared that it did not have a desire to cancel the contract.”

Latrell Collier

Dec 17, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; North Carolina Central Eagles running back Latrell Collier (5) reacts after running for a touchdown against the Jackson State Tigers during the second half during the Celebration Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Three points of clarity from Peak Sports were:

• In the original contract and subsequent addendum, NCCU has always had the ability to secure monies from donations including those from individuals and businesses.  Peak Sports has never received any monies from anything that NCCU has raised from donations.

• NCCU has yet to sell a single sponsorship that Peak Sports received 40% revenue share on.

• Peak Sports visited campus on July 6, 2022, and visited with Dr. Perkins for two (2) hours to review the contract and to answer any questions. The next correspondence Peak Sports received in regard to the contract was in November of 2022.

Peak Sports has no intention of seeking legal action regarding Dr. Skip Perkins’s remarks. Instead, Holloway requested Dr. Perkins to “communicate these inaccuracies verbally during the upcoming Board Meeting with the Board of Trustees.”

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