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What the new NIL means for student-athletes

An extremely liberating move has been made in favor of college athletes all over the country that seems to answer all the pleas that student-athletes have been making for years. 

A law went into effect on July 1st that now allows students opportunities to profit off of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). There has been a long-standing debate on whether or not student-athletes should be compensated for the revenue that they generate for their universities. Big-name schools like The University of Southern California (USC), Texas, and Michigan generate enough revenue for them to pay some of their athletics teams outright with little-to-no loss in net gain. However, that doesn’t provide a solution to student-athletes who attend schools in lower divisions but still have a massive amount of popularity and notoriety around the country. 

Many athletes signed deals to be endorsed by small, local businesses, like barbeque spots. There are other instances where deals were put in place for multiple athletes at a time. For example, MMA training facility owner Dan Lambert offered University of Miami football players $500 to promote his gyms on social media. 

The question has since been posed as to what athletes would have benefitted the most from the law had it been put in place much earlier. Zion Williamson, high school basketball phenom and #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft was one of the names brought up, as well as USC legendary USC running back Reggie Bush. There have been reports of current athletes already profiting from the new law, Alabama football head coach Nick Saban told reporters that former five-star recruit and current Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has already earned close to seven figures. He called the numbers “ungodly” and said that the new rule “drastically changes the fairness of college sports”. 

Even some high school recruits have taken advantage of the new rules and already inked deals before even getting to the next level. High school basketball star Mikey Williams, who once scored 77 points in a game as a freshman, recently signed a deal with Excel Sports and is expected to generate millions for the young man.

This deal also sets in motion the return of one of the most coveted sports games in history. The NCAA Football series by EA Sports is one of the best sports games, the gameplay felt more detailed than the EA Sports’ other Football series Madden NFL, there were more game modes that gave you an idea of the life of a student-athlete specifically a college athlete, allowing you to be on the field and in the classroom. Due to some students having issues with not being compensated for their likeness being used, the series was taken off the shelves in 2014 after over a decade in stores. Thanks to the new NIL agreement, EA Sports announced that the series will make a return in 2022, much to the pleasure of many fans. 

Many still oppose this deal, claiming that it makes college sports unfair, however, this deal finally provides a way for players to profit from their hard work on the field or on the court like the schools did for so many years.