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NIL money, How should it work?

“Name Image Likeness,” what is it really?
NIL money, How should it work?

Most Name Image Likeness (NIL) in the NCAA falls under the ability to make money from your own name and face, while still maintaining an amateur status as an athlete.

The question is, where do we draw the line? Currently, Colorado University quarterback, Shedeur Sanders, has a NIL valuation as high as 3.5 million dollars according to Adam Wells of Bleacher Report.

Now I’m all for players getting paid for their own brand, but there comes a point where this money is taken away from the school. CU, for example: Their expenses over a 4 year period for a non-resident come out to about $240,000.

Sheduer Sanders could afford to pay this 145 times, this means that he does not need a scholarship to play for Colorado and could technically be a walk-on, but still make millions in NIL money.

Sheduer Sanders, CU Buffs Quarterback (Getty Images)

My opinion is somewhat complicated, I think players should be able to make money off of their physical appearance and name with a scholarship, but at the same time, it should be their own brand.

Their brand should mean that they shouldn’t just be able to take a photoshoot with Nike and make $100,000. For example, Donald De La Haye, better known by his Youtube handle, Deestroying, was a college kicker for UCF. During this time, De La Haye started a Youtube channel documenting his progress in the kicking world and telling stories about his daily life.

However at the time, NIL was not a thing, so he lost his eligibility to play college football. This example of NIL should be allowed with no limit to economic success. What I don’t agree with is college athletes signing big deals with brands like Nike and Adidas, while still maintaining their scholarship.

My take is that we should let college players have NIL money, and if they make it by their own brand, there’s no limit. However, if they sign with big companies on shoe deals or any sort of deal worth at least $50,000 over their total college expenses, they should be required to walk on with no scholarship.

This works because if a player is making $300,000 they are most likely a starter and will make the team as a walk-on. With the extra money they are now paying in tuition, the schools can have bigger budgets for other things that get less funding.

For example, according to an On3 article, Texas currently has 17 players that would hypothetically meet the criteria to walk on. That means they could have about 102 players that could go to their school completely paid for.

In my opinion, NIL is like a scholarship, without it, the “money” you would make from an athletic scholarship is your free education. Each player on scholarship essentially gets paid their tuition every year and it’s just paid into their college fund.

Going back to Texas and their 17 NIL athletes, if they are all non-residential students this would add over 4 million dollars to the school. That’s 4 million that can be spread to fund other parts of the school like raising teacher pay, campus security, research opportunities, and so on.

To sum up my points, NIL money is a slippery slope. On one hand, a player shouldn’t be able to afford a Rolex and be riding around in a Maybach, but on the other, they should still get some money when their name is being used to drive up sales.

The NCAA really just needs to find a balance between the right for players to profit off their likeness while still giving opportunities to athletes who can’t afford college without a scholarship

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About the Contributor
Hayden Foster, Staff
Hayden Foster is currently a Sophomore and is a broadcast journalist for Eagle Way. His hobbies include track, photography and hunting. After high school he plans on going to college for Videography and hopes to pursue a career in sports videography. This year he’s excited to learn how to do photography and video pieces for Eagle Way.

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