Olivia Dunne tumbled onto a step, landing gracefully on the sidewalk of Seventh Avenue in New York City, while a giant video billboard depicts the LSU gymnast star’s highlights to the rest of the people walking through Time Square.
Dunne’s Acrobatics, posted on one of LSU’s social media platforms, seemed to be celebrating July 1, 2021 – or as perhaps college athletes will come to call the quasi-holiday: NIL Day.
The year-long legislative battle – ending a decades-long battle waged by player compensation advocates – finally came to a head on Thursday, when college athletes across the country were free to pursue partnerships in which they can take advantage of their names, images and likenesses.
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The NCAA, which dragged its feet on the issue until federal and state lawmakers forced the governing body to act, has paved the way for college athletes to take advantage of the NIL agreements by updating and publishing its policies. Wednesday.
Twenty-six states had already enacted NIL legislation, 16 of which had laws that came into effect on July 1. Louisiana was one of them. Governor John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bill 60 enacted Thursday night, calling it a “critical and historic moment for Louisiana athletes.”
“It’s out of time for this law,” Edwards said in a statement, “and I’m excited about the opportunities it will open for talented athletes in Louisiana.”
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By the time Edwards signed the bill, several of LSU’s top athletes had already announced corporate partnerships.
All-American cornerback Derek Stingley, a Heisman candidate who is the soccer team’s most visible player, shared on Instagram that he had struck a deal with Baton-based Walk-On Sports Bistreaux. Red.
Myles Brennan, who is fighting to be LSU’s starting quarterback in 2021, has announced partnerships with Smoothie King (owner of the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans) and the Smalls Sliders restaurant in Baton Rouge.
Stingley and Brennan are both in partnership with broker NIL MatchPoint, another local business run by Henry Hays, former Dunham School boys’ basketball coach Jonathan Pixley and longtime radio host. Baton Rouge Charles Hanagriff.
The terms of each agreement are not yet known to the public. A Walk-On spokesperson declined to comment on behalf of the company.
The country’s most popular players are expected to strike deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. LSU’s Dunne, who has over a million followers on Instagram, 3.8 million more on TikTok, should perhaps benefit more than any other varsity athlete.
Miami quarterback D’Eriq King signed a NIL contract worth over $ 20,000, according to Sports Illustrated, which sets the bar high for immediate signing bonuses that are sure to climb.
The majority of athletes are likely to generate smaller (but still substantial) profits by partnering with regional businesses, attending events, running camps, or other creative endeavors.
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How many LSU athletes have signed NIL agreements?
The number is uncertain.
Stephanie Rempe, LSU’s assistant general manager of sports and chief operating officer, has taken the lead in the sports department’s NIL efforts. She said when NCAA policies were finally approved, LSU staff members were on the phone with the athletes until 2 a.m. Thursday about their upcoming deals.
âThe best part is they’re talking with us and having conversations, which is the intention,â Rempe said. “We’re here to help our student-athletes navigate this area. We can’t be involved in NIL deals, and obviously we can’t facilitate them directly or indirectly, but we can certainly help them explain how they pay off. (their agreements), what they can and cannot do, all that. “
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Rempe said educating players about their NIL rights remains “the most important thing,” something the university has been doing behind the scenes since Louisiana’s first player compensation bill was passed. presented in February 2020.
The LSU system approved a 12-part policy in mid-June that aligned school procedures under Louisiana law. The policy prohibits players from receiving compensation if the payment is “provided in exchange for athletic performance” or “as an incentive to recruit.” It also prohibits sports boosters from creating or facilitating NIL agreements for rookies as an “inducement to recruit” and with current players “as an incentive to stay registered”.
Such bans – which also include the approval of gambling, tobacco, alcohol, illegal substances or activities, and prohibited sports substances – comply with NIL laws in other states.
But Louisiana law provides a significant advantage to its varsity athletes by allowing them to use their school’s official logos, trademarks, colors, and facilities with the approval of the university. Many schools prohibit such deals, and it’s not hard to imagine LSU coaches using this difference as a huge recruiting benefit.
“I’m not going to say it’s a recruiting tool,” Sen. Bodi White, R-Central, said of the bill in May. “But he is.”
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Still, the initial impact of NIL Day was reflected on players currently on college rosters.
Several LSU football players have released the same statement as part of a partnership with Yoke, a gaming platform where fans can register and play video games with athletes. Wide receivers Kayshon Boutte, Jontre Kirklin, Deion Smith all posted their partnerships on Instagram, along with right tackle Austin Deculus, defensive lineman Glen Logan and safety Jay Ward.
LSU baseball player Cade Beloso promoted his family’s business, Hot Rod’s Creole, on his Instagram account.
Jaray Jenkins, a contender for the wide receiver this season, has promoted sales of his No.10 LSU jersey.
All-American spot kicker Cade York, who set the school’s record for the longest field goal with his 57-yard kick in the fog to beat Florida last year, announced that he was doing personalized shouts on the Jenloop social media platform – a partnership with LSU offensive lineman Marcus Dumervil also announced.
True first-year quarterback Garrett Nussmeier also announced that he will be screaming on his Instagram for between $ 20 and $ 50.
Within hours, Nussmeier published two articles promoting a college football news site and clothing store.
Former Heisman-winning LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who promoted the NIL movement while still registered, said in a Twitter post that he was “more excited about non-scholarship athletes who may have worked outside of sport to make ends meet. “
Burrow said such deals “would make their lives much easier” and the laws were “long overdue.”
“In my opinion,” said Rempe, “there hasn’t been a more transformative action that has impacted intercollegiate athletics in my life.”