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Ohio State Creates NIL Group To Help Athletes Earn More Money

  • Since July 1, 220 athletes have procured a total of $2.98 million in NIL earnings, the school announced.
  • It's now implementing a program that creates a new athletic department role to help athletes get more deals.
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY/Design: Matt Sullivan

The name, image, and likeness industry is still in its infancy, but after six months, early winners are emerging — and Ohio State athletes top the list. 

Since July 1, 220 Ohio State athletes have procured a total of $2.98 million in NIL earnings with 608 reported activities, the school announced. All three stats rank first among departments using Opendorse’s platforms.

Now, the school is implementing a program that creates a new athletic department role that could help maintain its standing.

Ohio State’s NIL Edge Team will “assist in connecting and coordinating NIL activities,” senior associate athletic director Carey Hoyt said. The school will also assign operations directors for “virtually” all of the school’s 36 sports to connect athletes with brands.

If schools can help with NIL, they’ll have a better chance of satisfying current athletes as well as attracting potential recruits.

A Pleasant Surprise

Ohio State is altering its NIL plan now after learning it has more freedom than previously thought, given the national landscape.

  • The NCAA prohibits explicit pay-for-play — or promising a deal based on what school an athlete attends.
  • Beyond that, the only restrictions are set by schools and state laws. The Buckeyes realized that Ohio’s executive order leaves them free to get creative.

The Buckeyes aren’t the only entity loosening restrictions. Alabama’s state legislature already voted to repeal its state law, giving both schools and athletes in the state more freedom.