Red Rocks Get Donation From Current Student-Athlete

Dec 26, 2022, 2:55 PM

Grace McCallum - Best Of Utah...

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY- Name, Image, and Likeness has been an interesting topic of discussion amongst those in the college athletics world for the past year or two. Yes, there are certainly examples of when it goes wrong, and NIL perhaps could have been introduced with more structure, but there are also examples of it being put to good use. The latest comes from Utah gymnast Grace McCallum who donated a massage chair to the Red Rocks with the money she has already made with NIL.

McCallum was a standout in the all-around as a freshman for the Utes last season after competing on Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics last year. It is expected McCallum will continue to be a force for the Red Rocks when their season officially opens on January 6, 2023.

Grace McCallum, Impressive On And Off The Mat

Seeing McCallum already giving generous gifts to her team and school while still being enrolled should come as no surprise to anyone who has been watching closely. The Olympic silver medalist has demonstrated early and often an impressive spirit both on and off the competition mat, full of kindness, humility and generosity beyond her years.

“I think NIL is a great opportunity to give back and do good with your money,” McCallum said. “NIL money can go to so much more than just yourself. There is so much to do to help others and I hope more people can use their own opportunities that they have with NIL to give to their communities or own programs. However you can give back makes a difference whether it be in the future or now. There are already great things being done because of NIL and I hope it continues.”

The Red Rocks have made it a point as a whole team to be charitable with their NIL as formatted by their very own collective, Who Rocks The House. Utah gymnastics and especially an individual like McCallum are in particularly unique situations to do better than most with NIL while also having the ability to give back in a big way.

It’s Just The Utah Way

Gone are the days of waiting till after a student-athlete graduates and has success in the real world to see them donate to their school or team (think the Alex Smith Strength and Conditioning Center). McCallum is the latest to show it’s possible for some student-athletes to give back in impressive ways to their teams and communities while they are still competing.

Offensive lineman Tyler Knaak recently took a foster family in Utah on a Christmas shopping spree with money he earned from NIL, while quarterback Cam Rising, and cornerback Clark Phillips III have been pretty consistent in putting money towards the Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe Memorial Scholarship with some of their NIL endeavors.


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“First and foremost, our student-athletes are extraordinary people, who not only achieve at the highest levels in the classroom and in competition, but consistently display tremendous character, and a commitment to excellence that makes Utah Athletics and the University of Utah unique and special,” said Charmelle Green, Deputy A.D. and Chief Operating Officer. “I am proud of Grace, and grateful that she would use her personal resources generated through NIL opportunities to provide our Red Rocks program with this gift.”


Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports


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Red Rocks Get Donation From Current Student-Athlete