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Hey Athletes! You Can Benefit From Playing!

We live in a different generation of sports than we could ever imagine. Whether that be the new found player empowerment of the NBA or the ever changing format in college football. Amongst these changes that have occurred in our lifetime has been the adaptation of the NCAA to NIL (name, image, likeness) deals.

What this means is that college athletes can finally profit from being an athlete. Early on we’ve seen it used as a tool to draw athletes to schools based on what deals they can get. 

Recruiters have been paying athletes under the table for years. The Division one athletes have already profited from this earning upwards of a million dollars, but what does this mean for the smaller schools and lower divisions? 

What it means is that Division three athletes too can make money off of their name, image and likeness. This is based on the supreme court ruling NCAA vs. Alston. Which basically gave athletes the right to profit off themselves, but not through the school. Rather, through business deals worked out in the community. You still can’t get paid to play, but there is always a way around the rules in a sense. 

Nevermind that even though it hasn’t been utilized at our own school, people around the country and in our own state are using their name, image and likeness to make money. 

It seems silly now that preseason meeting athletes have that they cannot even have a fantasy football league with money involved, but they can get money from just basically being an athlete. When The Round Table asked Brad Williams, head men’s soccer coach about this, he said “It really doesn’t affect us.” Which is true as of right now. It could change depending who makes a move first. It feels as if we’re back at a middle school dance. Everyone is too scared to make a move.

It is illegal to use NIL as a recruitment tool, but the number one football player in the country just committed to Jackson St. Let me tell you it wasn’t because of where it’s located. He signed a big NIL deal immediately after.

Beloit sees itself as a forward thinking school, so why hasn’t it used this to their advantage. College students who are always looking a leg up in any way shape or form. Coaches looking to bring in more recruits, and be forward thinking.

Wouldn’t you love to seea  Matt O’Leary’23 home run sponsored by The Rock Bar and Grill. Or every Andrew Walters’21 rebound sponsored by the Blue Collar Coffee Company. What about the Caden Anderson’23 Burger at Lucy’s? That sure would be good. 

Truthfully, some of the athletes on campus are prominent figures. Wouldn’t it be a smart business strategy to get more college kids down to a business if they were to sponsor their friend.  

The Round Table spoke to Keeler Tardiff’22, a prominent figure on campus and lacrosse player, and his thoughts were that it “really depends on the brand. Depends on how cool or stylish they were no matter who the person was repping it.” 

An understable statement as our students are one to be on the cusp of fashion or innovation. However, with over half the students being athletes it still could happen with mob psychology being prevalent in colleges.

The Round Table went directly downtown and talked to businesses to see if this was possible. The Round Table started first with Hatley’s Bar and Grill and they said “we would be interested in doing something like this under the right circumstance.” That’s what Greg Hatley told us at least. 

Since they seemed to be willing to do it the question becomes how long until it happens. Most athletes seem to drift into the business side, so why wouldn’t they take advantage? If this seems too good to be true, look up the court case. Just google NIL deals online. 

This is just the beginning of student athletes making money. I’m not for or against. Simply stating, the floodgates have opened. It’s our own choices that will allow us to swim or follow the current. 

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