After years of battles in court, state legislatures, and Congress, a new era has arrived: NCAA athletes can now profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness.
The NIL industry could be worth billions of dollars, experts estimate.
- Star players in the Power 5 conferences could earn up to $1 million in social media endorsements alone, according to ESPN.
- Women’s sports athletes, from volleyball players to gymnasts, could earn anywhere from $10,000 to $400,000 annually, according to AthleticDirectorU and Opendorse.
The governance structure for the deals, however, is still a mess. NIL rules are currently determined by a patchwork of state laws, a temporary NCAA waiver, and individual school rules.
The NCAA is lobbying for Congress to pass a uniform federal law.
“The NCAA is at the table only because it’s been hauled, kicking and screaming, here,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said last month.
Jackson State defensive end Antwan Owens was among the first college athletes to sign an NIL deal, per Sports Illustrated. He inked a deal with black-owned hair product shop Three Kings Grooming at midnight in NYC.
Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King also struck a midnight deal, reportedly signing a $20,000 endorsement deal with moving company College Hunks Hauling Junk.