What If Name, Image, Likeness Was Around Years Ago

Jul 3, 2021, 6:04 PM
Scott Mitchell - Utah Utes...
CIRCA 1987-1989: Scott Mitchell, #19 quarterback of the University of Utah Utes football team throws the ball upfield to an open receiver during a game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by University of Utah/Collegiate Images via Getty Images)
(Photo by University of Utah/Collegiate Images via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – College athletes are finally able to make money off of their name, image, and likeness. July 1 was the official day that the NCAA amended its rules to allow players to finally earn compensation as they were forced to with six other states having their own laws in place to allow college athletes to monetize themselves.

Many deals have been struck already including forming new companies or appearing at a fireworks store as is Iowa basketball star Jordan Bohannon. The most lucrative deal so far is rapper Master P’s son, Hercy Miller, who will play basketball at Tennessee Tech this fall, and he signed a four-year deal worth $2 million deal with Web Apps America.

There will be deals large and small, and from athletes who no one has heard of because the majority of these deals will be through social media.

For example, Fresno State women’s basketball twins Haley and Hanna Cavinder are insanely popular on TikTok with a shared account of over 3.3 million followers, and each has over a quarter-million followers on Instagram. With their earn potential already likely to be more than double what the school president earns.

Money will come in from all over the place from big and small companies to get their word out there, and if there is a huge social media following for an athlete then money will be made.

What About Athletes From Pre-NIL?

While this is a boon for current and future athletes, what about those players from before they could make money in legal ways?

KSL Sports’ Scott Mitchell was a big deal when he was at the University of Utah as a record-setting quarterback. He describes that first deal he earned just shortly after he declared for the NFL Draft a year early.

“I left the University of Utah early and I put my name in for the draft,” Mitchell said. “So I hadn’t even left Utah and I got an endorsement deal. From a radio station here in Salt Lake. They put my name on a billboard on I-15. I got paid $3,100.”

Mitchell was on a Utah team that was not great but he was setting records throwing for over 600-yard games, but he felt that his notoriety that he could have made some deals of his own to take advantage of his time as a Ute.

“I guarantee you, the car dealers would rather have the players than the coaches,” Mitchell said. “There also were a lot of Utah donors at the time [when I was there] that I would have loved to have had some kind of relationship with.”

Mitchell is not bitter about what players can make now off of their name but he does recognize the first year or two of NIL could be the Wild West with companies making deals to get their hands on athletes.

Overall, it is long past due that athletes can make money off of their brand during their peak earning years for the overwhelming majority of these college athletes.

Tune into KSL Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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What If Name, Image, Likeness Was Around Years Ago