NIL in the NCAA
On July 1st, 2021 the new NIL ruling from the NCAA went into effect. This allowed for 460,000 student-athletes to profit off their name, image, likeness, and sign sponsorship deals. Some athletes have taken full advantage of this new ruling by immediately signing deals with various companies. While there is still some debate over this new ruling it is the biggest change to college sports in decades and athletes are fully utilizing it by signing some interesting deals.
Among the benefits argued by many student-athletes and coaches is being allowed to make money to live off of. Many scholarships allow money for room and board but sometimes it doesn't end up being enough. Student-athletes are still students and will likely live off-campus for at least a few years of their time at school. To do this, they need extra money as off-campus housing does not include food and rent is higher. Another benefit argued by coaches such as NBA legend, Penny Hardway, is that the new NIL rule is bringing competitiveness back to college sports. Hardway says that now you don't have to worry about making money right away by going to the G League and can get paid while getting an education as well. Harway credits these rules for being the reason he was able to create a high-level team this year with two five-star recruits, Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates.
While there seem to be many benefits, people also argue that there could be unintended consequences. Many believe this could affect the locker room environment if some players are making millions while others might be making very little if any at all. Some also think this deal will have players and schools prioritizing money and sponsorships over winning and playing well. With the College Football season just starting we will begin to see if these arguments have any merit to them.
Regardless of the effects, athletes are taking advantage and have made some interesting deals. The new deal has no real limits as to what sorts of companies athletes can sign with. This has led to some interesting deals. Among these is University of Miami quarterback, D’Eriq King, signing a deal with the moving company College Hunks Hauling Junk, Jordan Bohannon sponsoring local Iowa businesses’ such as Boomin Iowa Fireworks and Gorilla car wash and Bo Nix, the quarterback at Auburn, signing a deal with Milo’s Sweet Tea.
While these deals are entertaining the real money will probably come from social media for many student-athletes. For example, many athletes can profit from advertising products on their Instagram, Twitter, or Tik Tok. Students can stand to make anywhere from thousands of dollars to millions. A standout company that is paying student-athletes to advertise for them or appear in their content is Barstool Sports. Barstool has signed over 4,000 student-athletes there are given some compensation and free barstool merchandise as long as they let barstool use their name, image, and likeness. Other ways students are making money are starting clothing lines or producing some sort of merchandise they can profit off of. One of the more common ways students have begun to make money is from the sale of jerseys with their name on them or some other sort of apparel.
Overall, student-athletes have waited a long time to be able to make money for themselves. Students have made some interesting deals and are proving how resourceful and entrepreneurial they can be. Whether this for better or worse it has undoubtedly reshaped the world of college athletics and the lives of many student-athletes.