On July 1, the NCAA officially declared that all student athletes could begin making money off of their name, image and likeness (NIL) through different endeavours of the athlete’s choosing. Before this change, NCAA college athletes had a decision to make: to play college sports without profiting off of their success, or to lose their playing eligibility by turning professional and making a profit.
This decision comes after years of controversy surrounding the notion that while college athletes were making money for their universities, they were not making money from them. Nancy Skinner, member of the California State Senate, became a figure-head in the effort to end punishment of NCAA athletes who signed endorsement deals.
Skinner introduced the legislation in September 2019, stating, “What other billion-dollar industry could rely on college students as the source of their revenue and deny them any type of income?”
When it comes to the logistics of the rule changes, ESPN Staff Writer Dan Murphy states that “Athletes are anticipated to appear in national advertising campaigns; partner with brands to advertise through social media channels; start their own youth sports camps or teach lessons; launch their own businesses; sell memorabilia; make paid public appearances for speaking events or autograph signings; and use their NIL rights in a variety of other creative ways.”
Some Ole Miss athletes have already begun pursuing marketing ventures to increase their profitability. Quarterback Matt Corral has joined efforts with Dreamfield Sports, a company created by current Division 1 athletes McKenzie Milton and D’Eriq King to help other college athletes book local and national marketing events. Corral is currently listed as ready to book for $10,000 per hour – the second highest price tag among the athletes on the site. At the moment, it is unknown whether or not Corral has booked an event.
Jerrion Ealy, Momo Sanogo, Jonathan Mingo and Jalen Cunningham are among other Rebel football players listed on Dreamfield, ranging from $250-$500 per hour, a significantly lower price tag than their quarterback.
Ole Miss soccer’s sophomore center back Price Loposer is the only female Rebel currently available to book on the site at this moment, but it is likely we will continue to see more athletes list their time and services on Dreamfield.
On Saturday, Rebel defensive back Jakorey Hawkins took to Twitter to announce the launch of his personal brand, HawkWorld.
Hawkins announced that he would be releasing merchandise, and is looking to collaborate with businesses to promote their products.
While it is still early in the new age of name, image and likeness, Rebel fans can look forward to seeing Ole Miss athletes continuing to pursue different avenues for profit, including smaller brand deals on social media and partnerships with local businesses. There is a bright future ahead for college athletes, promoters and supporters.