SZNAP CHAT – JULY 9
By Adam Sznapstajler

COLLEGE SPORTS IS NOW THE WILD WEST AND I LOVE IT

In case you missed it, on the heels of a unanimous Supreme Court hearing that ruled the NCAA limits on athlete pay as illegal for all intents and purposes, the NCAA has announced a new Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rule that college athletes can now profit off their name and likeness. This has unleashed a storm of player sponsorships and deals that has been fun to watch.

To start off with, let’s spare giving NCAA President Mark Emmert and the organization any credit here. Although he has publicly positioned the governing body as fighting for the rights of players and being progressive on athlete rights by changing the rule, the truth is the NCAA was backed into a corner by numerous laws passed in states around the country and finally a Supreme Court ruling that would’ve had the NCAA violating federal labor laws unless they allowed this.

One of the enjoyable things to watch in this process has been the sheer amount of opportunities the athletes have had. From moving company endorsements, instagram influencer deals, and even sponsored podcasts, there has been a plethora of opportunities for athletes to get paid. The variance of these opportunities has also created a level playing field for larger and smaller schools, smaller or larger sports, and also male or female athletes. LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne is projected to be one of the first athletes to earn over $1 million in endorsements.

Perhaps the athlete that has hit the ground running quickest is University of Miami QB D’Eriq King. The night the rule was changed it was announced that King and FSU QB McKenzie Milton had teamed up to form a company that will help other college athletes take advantage of the new NIL Laws. King also inked multiple five figure endorsement deals and even opened his own website to sell memorabilia, As a school, UM has embraced the new NIL laws forming a program called Ignite to help its athletes navigate the system, and programs like this have been created throughout the country.

It is a new age in college sports and I love it. Players finally have the ability to do what any other college student in the country can do, earn a supplemental wage. It is going to be fun to watch the landscape of the NCAA change of the next few years.

Check out my weekly column every Tuesday. With the Tampa Bay Lightning on the verge of a second consecutive Stanley Cup, we called an audible and backed up SZNAP CHAT but it’ll return to normal next week. Until then, sayonara from South Florida!