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The NIL & College Football

The NIL & College Football

NIL is a new acronym that is flipping college sports, most specifically college football, on its head. NIL stands for Name, Image, Likeness. Up until recently, college athletes were not able to profit off of any of the 3 items listed above. In fact, any additional money that an athlete gained outside of their school’s scholarship programs could have resulted in fines, loss of games or even the inability to be allowed to participate in NCAA athletics. 

Take Trevor Lawrence for instance. He lead his team to a National Title as a true freshman and was already considered the 2nd coming of Peyton Manning before even being drafted. However, he was not able to financially capitalize on any of that celebrity because he was an NCAA athlete. No sponsorship deals, no product advertising and even no financial gain from signing autographs. Even the jerseys sold in the team store with his number on it meant literally nothing when it came to him having a chance to profit from it financially. 

Now, less than a year removed from Trevor Lawrence starting at Clemson, college quarterbacks are making money that no college athlete before could have ever dreamed of having. Nick Saban was recently quoted as saying that current projected starting quarterback, Bryce Young was likely already nearing a million dollars in different advertising deals, despite the fact that he has never taken a snap as the starter in a real game situation. 

This ruling isn’t just affecting college athletes either. Quinn Ewers, the number 1 player in high school for the 2022 class decided to reclassify as a 2021 prospect and enroll at Ohio State this fall to capitalize on the NIL that does not currently exist for High School athletes. He is already making money and just recently released an ad for a beverage company called Holy Kombucha.

Because of all of this extra revenue entering the pockets of the athletes, this could also affect which school an athlete chooses, how long they stay in school and how they spend their time during the season and offseason.

This also opens doors for other avenues like the return of the beloved college football game “NCAA Football”  and other games like it that are dealing with amateur athletes.  

As we write this, not every state has NIL laws/rules in place, but many believe that in 2022 there will be some type of federal mandate so it makes things more universal for student athletes across the country. 

Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh had this to say after the ruling, “Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate and under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law.”

Either way, Ultimate Autographs looks forward to continuing to get the best in autographed jerseys, signed helmets, signed football, sports mystery boxes and live breaks for our loyal customers.

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