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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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From Tailgates to Scholarships: Winthrop Elevates Cornhole to Collegiate Status

  • The scholarships are partial but still qualify for NIL benefits.
  • Cornhole started as a tailgate activity and has grown into much more.
Cornhole
Syndication: Hornell Evening Tribune

Could recruiting rankings be coming to cornhole? 

The first domino may have fallen there as Winthrop became the first school to offer two students scholarships to play cornhole for the Eagles. Gavin Hamann and Jaxson Remmick from the Denver area became the first commitments to the start-up program. 

“This is history being made,” Winthrop cornhole coach and former pro player Dusty Thompson told The Herald. “I’ve only pursued these people. These are the best of the best.”

Cornhole started as a tailgate activity but has grown into a sport that has professional leagues and national TV broadcasts. Hamann and Remmick are two-time American Cornhole League high school national champions, so Thompson considers them five-star recruits, just like in football or basketball. 

Cornhole isn’t an NCAA-sanctioned sport, so it’s treated more like an esports team on campus. Given the flexibility, the two recruits are also able to dabble in the pro ranks as Remmick and Hamann recently joined the Colorado Timber, which is one of 16 pro teams that competes in the American Cornhole League. 

The scholarships are currently just partial, but cornhole bag sponsorships and sales incentives fall under the umbrella of name, image, and likeness benefits. Entry fees for the American Cornhole Championships, including its college competitions, are also part of NIL. 

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