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BYU football walk-ons will have tuition paid for through NIL agreement

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Thanks to a partnership with a local company, every walk-on on BYU’s football roster will have their tuition paid for this year.

BYU announced a new agreement with Built Brands, LLC on Thursday that will include “multi-year” NIL deals for all members of the Cougars’ football team. For the program’s 36 walk-ons, the compensation is “in the amount comparable to the costs of tuition for the academic year.”

Per BYU, 123 of its football players will enter into agreements with Built, a Utah-based manufacturer and distributor of protein and energy products. The team learned of the news during a team meeting on Thursday morning.

The players who agree to the NIL deals with Built will wear the company’s branding on their practice helmets and participate in “experiential events.” Additionally, BYU’s walk-on players will “provide additional social media and experience promotions” for the brand.

“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 in a statement. 

“When 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. I love these boys, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be partnering with a company that is equally committed to assisting BYU football in building a culture of love and learning while enhancing the experience for all players.”

Built will also be providing additional funding to the BYU football program as part of its partnership with the university. According to the school, the company has agreed to build two “fueling areas” in both team locker rooms — at the football complex and stadium.

On July 1, college athletes were permitted to earn income via the use of their NIL when the NCAA suspended its long-standing amateurism rules related to athletes earning from opportunities like endorsements and autograph signings. Since then, athletes across the country have worked to strike deals.

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