Hinckley Institute

03.14.24 The Sport of Ethics: Understanding the Ethical Landscape of NIL

Thursday March 14, 2024

12- 1 PM

Hinckley Institute of Politics,
260 South Central Campus Drive,
Room 2018,
Salt Lake City, UT, 84112
United States



Forum offered online and in the Hinckley Institute caucus room - Room 2018, Gardner Commons.

Ethics Week is a weeklong series of events surrounding a trending issue or topic. Student activities, expert led lectures, and panels provide an open forum to exchange ideas for both students and experts alike. Ethics is about empowering students to actively participate in the conversation and contribute their voices to the discourse.

2024 Topic: Ethics and Name, Image, and Licensing. Should student athletes be paid?

Our keynote speaker and panelists are authorities in the realm of ethics and athletics and will offer invaluable perspectives and guidance on navigating the complexities of NIL. This diverse range of voices—from athletes to academics to industry professionals—will provide attendees with various perspectives surrounding this contentious issue.

By participating in these discussions, students will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue, challenge their preconceptions, and emerge with a deeper appreciation for the ethical dimensions of NIL.



  • Gavin Van Wagoner
    • Assistant Athletics Director for NIL and Major Gifts, University of Utah
  • Brett Eden, 
    • Brett is the Director of Business Development, University of Utah
  • Ashley West
    •  Student Athlete, University of Utah women’s volleyball team


  • Eric Neff
    • Director of Admission Advisement and Recruitment, Weber State University





Pizza will be distributed to attendees at the beginning of the event. Please plan to arrive at the venue promptly.

The Hinckley Institute neither supports nor opposes the views expressed in this forum.


More details about panelists:


Eric Neff is the Director of Admission Advisement and Recruitment for the Dumke College of Health Professions at Weber State University.







Gavin Van Wagoner is the Director of Major Gifts for Utah Athletics. His responsibilities include growing the athletics fundraising efforts by identifying, cultivating and maintaining major gift donor relationships, and ensuring that donors and fans have an amazing customer experience. Van Wagoner has worked on the $85 million Ken Garff Red Zone Rice-Eccles Stadium expansion, the $3 million Dave Layton Golf Academy, and other Utah fundraising initiatives.

Before joining Utah Athletics, Van Wagoner worked in the financial services industry as a creative business leader managing all aspects of product innovation, customer experience, strategy, and business development. Van Wagoner’s professional journey started as an entrepreneur, creating his first marketing company during his final year in college while working in the founder’s home office. Van Wagoner has been awarded six patents for his inventions.

Van Wagoner has always loved being around sports. He played college baseball for two years, and as a kid, Van Wagoner was a batboy for the Salt Lake City Trappers, a minor league baseball team.

Van Wagoner graduated from the University of Utah with a political science degree and an MBA from the David Eccles School of Business. He has also attended executive education courses focused on innovation and customer experience at Stanford and Harvard Business School. Van Wagoner and his wife, Marianne, have 3 children.


Brett Eden is the Director of Business Development at the University of Utah. He oversees the trademark licensing program for the entire university, centralized business development enterprises, and student media.









Ashley West is a University of Utah women’s volleyball team athlete. Ashley is part of a sports legacy – her father is a former NFL football player, her mother played softball at Nebraska, and her sister Jordan currently plays on the Colorado State Softball team. Ashley is a National Honors Society member and has served in the MMP, a first-year mentor program.