Florida Gators defensive lineman Daquan Newkirk (44) tracks Florida Atlantic Quarterback N'Kosi Perry in the first half. The Gators lead 14-0 in the first half over the Florida Atlantic Owls Saturday afternoon, September 4, 2021 in Gainesville, FL. in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.  [Doug Engle/Ocala Star Banner]2021

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FAU QB N’Kosi Perry signs NIL deal with brewery

Florida Atlantic quarterback N’Kosi Perry has signed what is believed to be the first name, image and likeness deal for a college athlete with an alcohol business.

The Islamorada Beer Company, a brewery and distillery in the Florida Keys, announced the deal on Wednesday.

“We are happy to announce, Islamorada Beverages is the first Alcohol Company to endorse an NCAA Athlete through the NIL,” the company posted on Twitter, along with a couple of photos of Perry.

Perry, 23, is a graduate student at FAU who played the past three seasons with the Miami Hurricanes. He made his Owls debut last Saturday in a 35-14 loss to Florida, completing 19 of 33 passes for 261 yards and one touchdown.

–Field Level Media

Mar 18, 2021; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo heads into the locker room as he talks with forward Gabe Brown (44) at half time during the First Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Mortgage company to pay Michigan State players $6,000 annually

A mortgage company plans to make $500 monthly stipends to all 133 male athletes on the Michigan State football and basketball teams.

United Wholesale Mortgage confirmed it will pay each player $6,000 over the course of the 2021-22 academic year, which is permissible under the new Name, Image and Likeness protocol in college sports.

Former Michigan State basketball walk-on Mat Ishbia donated a record $32 million to MSU athletics in February and is the head of UWM.

“The Spartan family sticks together, and that’s what makes MSU athletics so special,” Ishbia said in a statement. “Each player contributes to the team in a positive way and we’re excited to help support them, while also helping educate consumers about the benefits of independent mortgage brokers.”

UWM is also the jersey patch sponsor of the Detroit Pistons, winning a bidding war with Quicken Loans.

Quicken Loans is the “presenting sponsor” of Michigan State men’s basketball.

–Field Level Media

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) throws during football training camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021.

Ohio State Football Training Camp

Reports: Ohio St. QB Quinn Ewers lands $1.4 million NIL deal

Before ever seeing the field in a college game, new Ohio State quarterback Quinn Ewers is earning more than $1 million for his name, image and likeness.

GT Sports Marketing, a company that deals in athlete autographs, signed a multi-year deal with Ewers, multiple reports said Tuesday.

Ewers was the No. 1-rated quarterback in the Class of 2022 before he reclassified to 2021. He headed to Columbus early because in his home state of Texas, there were not yet laws in place for him to capitalize on NIL rights as a high schooler.

Action Network was the first to report the news. ESPN reported that the deal was worth $1.4 million overall and marks Ewers’ third NIL deal to date.

It’s unknown just when Ewers will begin to see the field for Ohio State. Redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud was named the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback for their season opener Thursday at conference opponent Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

Dec 22, 2020; Boca Raton, Florida, USA; Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake celebrates with defensive back Troy Warner (4) after defeating the UCF Knights at FAU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

BYU walk-ons to have tuition paid through NIL deal

The BYU athletic department announced a deal with a corporate sponsor on Thursday that will allow all the team’s walk-ons to have their tuition covered.

Built Brands, already an advertiser with BYU athletics, will be entering into name, image, likeness (NIL) deals with all 123 players on the football team, with an expansion of its current sponsorship with the athletic department as well.

The biggest piece of positive news in the deal is the protein-bar company covering walk-ons’ tuition.

“From the beginning of the NIL discussion, my hope was that changes to NCAA rules and regulations would provide a pathway forward for all players to benefit more fully from their name, image, and likeness, especially walk-ons who sacrifice so much to make our program great,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said.

“When (Built Brands CEO) Nick Greer called to tell me that Built was committed to entering into NIL deals which would pay our walk-ons enough money to cover their tuition for the full academic year, I could not hold back my emotions.”

As part of the agreement, players will wear Built branding on their practice helmets and do experiential and social events for the company.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2020; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Marshall Few (0) reacts after running the ball in for a two-point conversion during the second half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Cheez-It Bowl Game at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Business owner offers to pay each Hurricanes football player

The largest potential sponsorship in this new NCAA era of name, image and likeness revenue generation is now on the table.

An owner of a Florida-based chain of gyms — American Top Team — has offered each scholarship player on the Miami Hurricanes football team a sum of $500 a month to promote his business on social media.

Take 90 scholarships times $500 times 12 months for a whole year, and you end up with a tidy sum of $540,000, believed to be the current record-holder for the biggest NIL offer yet.

Dan Lambert, the owner of the gyms that specialize in mixed martial arts training, has made his intention about paying the players clear: He wants to “Bring Back The U,” which not so coincidentally is the name of the corporation he established to facilitate payments.

He expects that step will keep him from breaking Florida law, specifically about entities that have directly supported universities and athletic departments being prohibited from paying athletes. Lambert has contributed to the university before. This new company has not.

“There are improper ways of fans supporting their players, and now there is a legal way to do it,” Lambert told ESPN. “And if there is a legal way, and you can dot the I’s and cross the T’s, I’m going to do it.”

–Field Level Media

Jun 11, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; An NCAA logo flag at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NIL pioneer Ed O’Bannon: ‘My job is done’

Former UCLA basketball standout Ed O’Bannon started the battle to allow student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness when he sued the NCAA in 2009.

On Thursday, he credited LeBron James and others for helping to finish the job.

In a first-person account published in the Los Angeles Times, O’Bannon said it was an episode of James’ show, “The Shop,” in October 2019 that helped student-athletes earn the right to receive compensation. The NCAA dropped its amateurism roadblocks to clear the way for NIL deals to begin Thursday.

The movement in other states and with the NCAA was triggered in part when California Gov. Gavin Newsom, surrounded by James, WNBA star Diana Taurasi and O’Bannon, signed the state’s Fair Pay to Play Act, making California the first state to enact such a law after O’Bannon’s successful lawsuit.

“In the years after the trial, it almost felt like we were on a treadmill, kind of running in place, and I just felt like a huge part of the turn was LeBron. Once he voiced his opinion about the lawsuit and the whole situation, it was a turning point,” O’Bannon said. “He didn’t have to because he had nothing to do with college, went directly from high school to the NBA. My face was on this issue, but he put a more familiar face and obviously a bigger name to the situation. The fact he lent himself to what we were trying to accomplish was gigantic.”

Now 48, O’Bannon is long removed from his playing days and is working as a juvenile probation officer in Clark County, Nev. He said he doesn’t want credit for student-athletes receiving the right to profit off their names.

“I know people are excited for college athletes to be able to use their NILs. I’ll keep up, check them out and see what they’re doing, but again, my job is done,” he said. “I don’t want to be a part of it. There’s no big celebration planned, any of that stuff. It’s their lives, and whether they know what we did prior to them getting their contracts makes no difference to me. I will watch from a distance. I just hope everybody is happy.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) in action during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA formally adopts interim name, image and likeness policy

In a sea of change for the world of amateur athletics, the NCAA formally adopted an interim policy to allow college athletes to benefit from their names, images and likenesses, effective Thursday.

The rule change means college athletes will be allowed to leverage their names and images to earn money or gifts through business arrangements, including product endorsements or trademarks.

The NCAA Division I Council voted to support the policy Monday, and the Division I Board of Directors voted in favor of that recommendation on Wednesday.

The college sports governing body was pressured into action as states around the country began to adopt their own NIL laws. Twenty states have passed NIL legislation so far, with laws in seven states scheduled to go into effect Thursday.

“With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”

Until recently, the NCAA fought against the idea of “student-athletes” earning monetary compensation in any way — whether paid directly for their work in their respective sports or through other modes of profit like selling autographs.

The NCAA continues to oppose “pay for play,” but has now outlined permissible ways for athletes to earn compensation under the new NIL rules. To avoid an unbalanced playing field between universities in states with NIL legislation and those in states without it, the NCAA’s policy allows students to profit off their names, images and likenesses regardless of which state they attend school.

College athletes are already putting business plans into motion. Wisconsin starting quarterback Graham Mertz revealed a personal trademark this week, which he plans to use for the sale of clothing.

–Field Level Media

Jun 11, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; An NCAA logo flag at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Council approves NIL profits for athletes, with final vote Wednesday

In a move that comes close to paving the way for college athletes to be paid from their name, image and likeness (NIL), the NCAA voted Monday to approve an interim policy allowing such profits as soon as July 1 without affecting eligibility.

The NCAA has been under pressure to reform after the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking ruling last week that universities had unfairly hurt college athletes by prohibiting schools from competing for recruits via stringent limits on compensation.

Monday’s vote, held by the Division I Council (largely consisting of athletics administrators), does not implement such change just yet. Instead the Division I Board of Directors, comprised of higher-level figures such as school presidents, will vote Wednesday on the recommendation that athletes could begin to earn NIL profits as early as Thursday.

If the interim policy receives final approval, athletes could begin earning money based on NIL later this week in all states that have not yet passed related laws. In states with laws already on the books, athletes could still make money so long as they follow those laws.

According to USA Today, 10 states will have laws allowing athletes to profit from NIL as of Thursday, and with legislation pending elsewhere, the count could be up to 15 by Sept. 1.

Ten days ago, NCAA president Mark Emmert issued a memo to over 1,100 institutions in an effort to convince them to pass legislation that will make it legal for players to earn money from their likenesses. In addition to aiming to avoid federal regulation, the NCAA is trying to maintain level playing fields until any future compensation guidelines are consistent through schools in every state.

–Field Level Media

Jun 11, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; An NCAA logo flag at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Emmert to schools: Resolve the NIL mess or the NCAA will

In a memo sent to more than 1,100 schools Friday, NCAA president Mark Emmert said he will act on impending name, image and likeness (NIL) changes in July but urged schools to pass legislation that will make it legal for players to earn money from their likenesses.

The urgency stems from multiple state NIL laws about to go into effect July 1, which allow for college athletes to make money off their images. The fear is that those laws will create an uneven playing field or an advantage for schools in those states.

Overall, 19 states have passed laws to this effect, with seven states set to enact those laws July 1: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.

That leaves NCAA member schools scrambling to figure out a best path forward. The NCAA wants quick action.

As Emmert wrote in the memo, “By July, all our athletes should be provided NIL opportunities regardless of the state they happen to live in.”

Athletes have continued to push for free access to revenue streams, which the NCAA has resisted. The new states laws do not provide that, instead also favoring some limitations.

The federal government likewise supports athletes earning money with limitations, but the two major parties can’t come to a consensus on scope, and aren’t expected to do so in the next month.

–Field Level Media