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College athletes will have a myriad of opportunities to financially benefit from their name, image and likeness starting Thursday.
Laws in at least 10 states will dictate the rules and regulations for players at schools in those jurisdictions. The NCAA board of governors approved temporary rules Wednesday that will allow schools outside of those states to determine how to enact their own rules.
Athletes across the country already are positioning themselves to take advantage when the switch is flipped and they can be open for business. Some have spent years cultivating their social brand. Others are dipping their toe into these waters created in this new era of NCAA athletics.
A look at some of the big names already making news:
Hanna and Haley Cavinder
The Fresno State women's basketball players started with some goofy videos on TikTok during the pandemic and have built a following of more than three million people, making the twins one of the highest-profile social media brands in college athletics.
The Cavinders – after being contacted by numerous companies – announced Thursday they would enter an arrangement with Six Star Pro Nutrition as part of their efforts to monetize their NIL. The Associated Press also reported that a deal between the twins and Boost Mobile is in the works.
The Iowa men's basketball player was one of the prominent players who met with NCAA president Mark Emmert last March on this issue, so it is no surprise that he is being aggressive in his approach to profiting off his NIL. Last week, Bohannon posted mockups of T-shirts he planned to sell. List price is $33.
The Oklahoma quarterback announced on social media his intentions to donate a portion of whatever might earn via NIL to those in underserved communities.
"We as players must use our platform and this new NIL opportunity to do good in the world," Rattler wrote. 'I will donate a part of any earnings I receive to help underserved people and underserved communities."
The starting quarterback for Wisconsin who soon will start his second season, Mertz went public with his intent to participate in the possibilities of NIL by releasing his personal logo on Twitter.
Female athletes in Florida
Milner Technologies has decided to form a relationship with four female athletes in the state of Florida, according to a story in the Miami Herald.
The company will initially outlay $10,000 to be shared by the group — Miami volleyball player Taylor Burrell, Florida State soccer player Jaelin Howell, Central Florida track athlete Rayniah Jones and Florida gymnast Trinity Thomas — starting Thursday. Should the endorsement deals be successful, the company is open to further investment.
The Ohio State lacrosse player started building his YouTube following and making money off his brand while attending high school in Virginia. Pehlke had to shut the monetary part down once he started college. Now the doors are open again and he's going to jump in with both feet.
“I’m going to do as much as I can on that first day and just kind of keep the train going,” Pehlke told The Associated Press. “But I think right now it’s figuring out what I want to do and then drawing it out with my compliance contact to see if that’s all OK, and then get everything prepared for July 1, and then just hit the ground running.”
It you're looking to make money off your NIL, it doesn't hurt to put out an advertisement. Borghi, a running back at Washington State, made it clear he's open for business with a tweet.
The Kentucky basketball star is the first from the university to announce a deal to monetize his NIL. The former Kentucky Mr. Basketball, Allen will sell personalized merchandise through the Players Trunk. For purchase are T-shirts, hoodies, and even a personal Zoom call, which runs 80 buck
Blake Corum and Mike Sainristil
The two Michigan running backs have reached a deal with Yoke Gaming, an app that allows fans to play video games with college athletes.
"We are building our brands and working every day to be the best student-athletes we can be," Corum wrote on Instagram announcing his partnership. "We finally have the chance to get paid for marketing opportunities. This is my first paid post announcing I’ve joined @yokegaming."
Malik Cunningham and Michael Penix
Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham and Indiana QB Michael Penix have both joined Dreamfield Sports, which serves essentially as a booking agency for college athletes for autograph sessions, meet-and-greets, and more. Cunningham is charging $275 per hour, while Penix's going rate is $500.
Penix and Cunningam might be a bargain. Florida State QB McKenzie Milton and Miami QB D'Eriq King are charging $2,000 an hour.
Nebraska volleyball player Lexi Sun became one of the first athletes to make deal, joining forces with REN Athletics to design and sell the "Sunny Crew," a crewneck sweatshirt that went on sale shortly after the legislation was passed.
The Auburn quarterback has an endorsement deal with Milo's Tea, which seems like a pretty heady play given the south's penchant for sweet tea.
The Arkansas wide receiver and self-professed dog lover has appropriately landed a deal with PetSmart.
"I have always been proud to be a student-athlete and an Arkansas football player, but I am just as proud to be a dog dad to Blue," Knox said in a release.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NCAA athletes announcing deals on eve of shift in college sports