Friday, January 12, 2024

College football pays

Recently, college players received the ability to earn money via Name, Image, and Likeness payments. This is not a salary from the school that employs them, but rather it is technically meant to be a sponsorship to use players as an advertisement of sorts. There have been some actual NIL deals that are an actual sponsorship, but I recently learned about another kind of "NIL deal" — NIL collectives. Michigan has one, for example, called Champion's Circle, which is actually an official partner of Michigan Athletics. They made a One More Year fund to keep players for an extra year instead of letting them go to the NFL. They raised over $100,000

Collectives now make up 80% of the money that goes into the NIL industry. This is more or less untapped economic surplus from college football fans being piped to college athletes. Whether this value always existed, or newly came about because college athletes can now earn money is unclear. It sounds pretty bad, and that people are raising money and donating them to football players who are not necessarily in need. But it is functionally like a regular university fundraising apparatus:

"It's very similar to a lot of fundraising arms within the athletic department or your corporate sponsorship arm within the athletic department," said Happy Valley United's executive director for football Brandon McCladdie, who is not a Penn State alum.

Most players don't make that much, but some of the best players can actually make a lot.