HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Athletic Director Christian Spears said Tuesday that Marshall’s athletic department is moving forward with plans to sell beer at the Cam Henderson Center, Dot Hicks Field and the planned baseball stadium.

Spears said the department has applied for a permit with the City of Huntington’s zoning board.

Beer is currently sold at the Joan C. Edwards Stadium and the Hoops Family Field.  

On a related note, Spears said athletics is engaged in discussions with Country Boy Brewing out of Lexington, Kentucky on a possible proprietary beverage and packaging.  

Spears also outlined a new program to manage Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) for student athletes. ‘The Thunder Trust’ will be managed by Tyler J. Hutchinson, a Huntington native and former football player for Yale University. Hutchinson will oversee the NIL program, which is not permitted to be managed directly by the athletics department.  

Lastly, in a move that is expected to attract more students from Ohio and Kentucky to Marshall University, the university’s board of governors approved the expansion of metro tuition rate eligibility to a 100-mile radius from the Huntington campus.  

Currently the metro rate applies to border counties including Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pike and Scioto counties of Ohio and Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Lawrence, Martin and Pike counties of Kentucky. 

The expansion, which will take effect in the fall of 2023, adds the following additional counties:  

Ohio: Adams, Athens, Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Fairfield, Fayette, Highland, Hocking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Ross, Vinton and Washington.  

Kentucky: Bath, Bourbon, Bracken, Breathitt, Clark, Clay, Estill, Fleming, Harrison, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Mason, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Pendleton, Perry, Powell, Robertson, Rowan and Wolfe. 

The metro rate falls in between the resident and non-resident tuition rates.  In the coming months, the university will begin its recruitment and marketing outreach to students in the new counties with full implementation expected for the fall of 2023.  

The board also approved a change in the Employee Tuition Assistance Benefit for Dependent Children, which permits eligible individuals to apply for tuition assistance after the parent has been employed for 180 days (about 6 months) as opposed to the current one-year requirement.