One week under name, image and likeness policy presents ongoing possibilities

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 7:58 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2021 at 9:16 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - It’s been one week since NCAA college athletes have been able to benefit off of their name, image and likeness.

Already, we’ve seen NIL deals across all three divisions.

There has also been a significant learning curve and great caution.

“For almost a century, if not more than a century, we’ve been told you can’t be professional and be an athletes, you can’t trade in on your name, image, likeness and be a college athlete. Then, within the last two weeks it’s like, ‘Ah we’re changing our mind, you can do it.’ It’s a massive mental change that people are processing. Our student athletes, our coaches, our boosters, our supporters. Everyone’s afraid a little bit to rush into this too quickly, because the old mindset has really prevented that from happening for decades. I think people are being cautious, which I appreciate, but I think as time goes on you’re going to see a lot more opportunities where people start to realize what the new reality is,” Minnesota State University, Mankato Associate Athletic Director, Shane Drahota said.

The new reality lies heavily on social media.

In many cases, college athletes have been taught to carry a professional presence online.

“It really just opens the doors for us to get compensated for things that we’re already doing. On our end, if we were to seek our those ventures, it’s going to be on the athlete to put themselves out there and do those things,” Maverick football junior defensive back, Desmond Bassett said.

“I remember, when softball won the national championship, Cori Kennedy our catcher, she had a viral video and on one hand you’re like ‘That’s awesome Cori, good for you!’ Then, we started holding our breath like, oh no, don’t profit off this at all, we’re having a great season. This is on the way to the championship. And now I think back like, Cori you’re too early,” Drahota added.

The only limitations at this point are sports gambling and performance enhancing chemical companies, as they’re still impermissible activities under NCAA legislation.

Administrators say, this hasn’t become an issue yet.

“I think nationally, there was some concern that it’s only going to be certain sports like power five football, men’s basketball, certain schools, maybe a women’s volleyball program in Nebraska, things like that. And, it’s been heartening to see that it hasn’t been limited to those opportunities for certain sports or certain schools, it’s been all over the board of people trying to take advantage of this and are taking advantage of this,” Drahota said.

The NIL policy also gives opportunity to athletes who can brand themselves creatively.

“I do run a business myself, it’s called “The Truth,” it produces pretty much hats, any type of vintage wear and clothing. So, this rule begin passed is really beneficial for me in a personal way of trying to promote myself and get out there,” Maverick senior defensive back, Ty’Shonan Brooks said.

Athletes are excited for what doors the policy can open, but are confident their priorities will remain in order.

“Ultimately, our focus is on the football team and winning a championship. If either one of us were to get a large compensation in some way, we’d share it with our teammates in a heartbeat,” Bassett said.

“This is a thing set aside from what our goal is, so when it comes to the facilities and the weight room it is all business to reach our goal,” Brooks said.

“Shout out Chipotle, if Chipotle want’s to sponsor the Minnesota State Football Team. I think we’d like that,” Bassett added.

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