Dec 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks before the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12, Twitter form NIL partnership for players tweeting highlights

Football players and men’s and women’s basketball players at Pac-12 institutions soon will have the option to be paid per tweet.

The Pac-12 announced a name, image and likeness (NIL) rights partnership with Twitter and other companies that will allow athletes in those sports to monetize videos of their highlights on social media.

Sports tech startup Tempus Ex Machina will give participating athletes access to a customized video after each game, showing their highlights from different camera angles. When players tweet their personal clips, Twitter will add pre-roll advertising and the athlete will receive some of the ad money.

Twitter did not disclose how the revenue would be split between the athletes and the companies.

The Pac-12 claims it’s the first NIL deal of its kind. It will begin with the 2022-23 academic year.

“The Pac-12 is committed to providing our student-athletes with best-in-class technology, tools and promotional platforms that support their individual brands,” commissioner George Kliavkoff said in a statement. “Our partnership with Tempus Ex is focused on enhancing our student-athlete and fan experiences, and today’s announcement is another important step in positioning the Pac-12 as a leader when it comes to student-athlete promotion and brand building.”

–Field Level Media

Jul 14, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the Texas Tech Red Raiders helmet logo during the Big 12 Media Day at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nonprofit that backs Texas Tech to include 100 players in NIL deal

Football players at Texas Tech — 100 of them — can look forward to receiving a $25,000 contract for their name, image and likeness (NIL) rights this season.

The Matador Club, a nonprofit collective set up by donors to the university, has announced plans to begin the $2.5 million program of payments to players — all 85 who are under scholarship and 15 walk-ons — starting monthly. The first checks are to go out in the first week of August.

Cody Campbell, a member of the Matador Club’s board of directors, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the players are expected to perform charitable work and community service in and around Lubbock, Texas. The contracts will be renewable annually.

Texas law prohibits schools from taking part in NIL deals, so they must come from outside organizations.

Campbell, a former Red Raiders offensive lineman, noted that while “it’s going to become known that Texas Tech has a good NIL program that’ll be appealing to recruits,” there will be no guarantees of compensation.

“We’re not going to make any promises on the front end. We’re not going to break any rules,” Campbell said.

–Field Level Media

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher andAlabama head coach Nick Saban chat at midfield before the Alabama vs. Texas A&M game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday September 22, 2018.


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Nick Saban reiterates he regrets naming names in NIL flap

Alabama coach Nick Saban again tried to defuse a dustup of his own creation with Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, saying Tuesday at the SEC spring meetings that, “I didn’t really say anybody did anything wrong,” and that he has “no problem” with Fisher.

Saban again said that he regrets naming specific institutions two weeks ago at a fundraising event when he used Texas A&M and Jackson State as examples of how NIL money is being used improperly in recruiting. That sparked a response from Fisher in which he denied the accusations and lambasted Saban.

Talking to reporters on the opening day of SEC spring meetings, Saban said, “You know, I didn’t really say anybody did anything wrong.” Saban was interrupted by a reporter who said: “You said they bought their recruiting class.”

“I didn’t say anybody did anything wrong,” Saban repeated. “I said everything I’m going to say about this. … I should have never mentioned individual institutions.”

Saban said he supports players’ access to NIL income but suggested the lack of enforceable national rules creates an untenable situation.

“Some kind of uniform name, image and likeness stand that supports equitable national competition is really, really important for college football,” Saban said. “And we’ve always had that with scholarships, Alston money or whatever that might be. So that’s kind of point one.

“Point two is we need some kind of transparency in name, imagine and likeness deals to verify that players are doing what they need to do to have the opportunity to make in name, image and likeness. Believe me, I’m all for players making as much as they can. But I also think that we’ve got to have some uniform, transparent way to do that.”

Four other SEC head coaches wouldn’t touch the subject of the simmering feud, which has been the talk of college football since Saban’s May 18 comments and the response from Fisher, who was a Saban assistant for five years at LSU.

Fisher, who has refused to accept calls from Saban, was not scheduled to speak Tuesday but a Texas A&M representative said he might speak later in the week.

–Field Level Media

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, left, and Alabama head coach Nick Saban meet at midfield after their game in College Station, Texas, in 2019.

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Jimbo Fisher: Just 1 early signee at Texas A&M has NIL deal

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher continued to deny that his program’s incoming players were “bought” via name, image and likeness deals.

Fisher said in an interview with a San Antonio TV station that most of the Aggies’ 11 early enrollees do not have an NIL deal in place, pushing back on the notion initially espoused by Alabama coach Nick Saban that Fisher “bought every player” on his team.

“I just researched this,” Fisher said in the KSAT interview, which was recorded last Friday and aired Sunday night. “Of the 11 guys we have in place that came early? One guy has an NIL deal. So all these stories you’re hearing are complete lies.”

Saban set off a firestorm when he told business leaders at an event in Birmingham, Ala., that without regulations for NIL, coaches at competing programs would be able to “buy” any player, likening it to free agency without a salary cap.

“A&M bought every player on their team — made a deal for name, image, likeness. We didn’t buy one player, all right?” Saban said. He later apologized for singling out Texas A&M and other programs.

Fisher responded last Thursday, defending his program and calling Saban a “narcissist.”

“Some people think they’re God,” Fisher said. “Go dig into how God did his deal, you may find out about a lot of things that you don’t want to know. We build (Saban) up to be the czar of college football. Go dig into his past.

“I just know that what we did was nothing wrong. Not done the wrong way. Nothing was promised. Nothing was a deal. And we didn’t buy any players,” Fisher added. “You can call me anything you want to call me, you don’t call me a cheat. I don’t cheat. I don’t lie.”

Fisher also told KSAT that he did not plan to talk with Saban about his remarks, which he initially made clear at his press conference Thursday.

–Field Level Media

Florida State Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell conducts warm-ups in Doak Campbell Stadium before the Garnet and Gold spring game kickoff Saturday, April 9, 2022.

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Florida State coach alleges programs are tampering

Florida State coach Mike Norvell said players on the Seminoles’ roster have received “outside contact” from other programs that would equate to tampering.

In a hyperactive offseason for transfers, Norvell said in an interview on the ACC Network the players in question weren’t in the transfer portal or considering a transfer from Tallahassee.

“We had conversations, there were a couple guys on our team that have had people from the outside talking. They were not in the portal, but they’re trying to make decisions on certain things for their future,” Norvell said. “That’s what’s unfortunate. But grateful for the guys we have and the team that we’re going to be able to move forward with. But for college athletics, we want to be together here moving forward.”

This isn’t the first charge of tampering in the conference since the 2021 season ended.

Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers had “six figure offers” on the table from schools trying to lure him, but turned them down, he told ESPN.

Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison entered the transfer portal on the final day moves were permitted to be eligible for next season. Addison, who won the Biletnikoff Award with 1,479 receiving yards and 17 touchdown catches, landed at Southern California.

Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi told ESPN he reached out to new Trojans coach Lincoln Riley multiple times under suspicion he had contacted Addison about replacing No. 1 wide receiver Drake London, who entered the NFL draft.

It’s not just an ACC issue.

Texas sophomore wide receiver Xavier Worthy reportedly weighed a lucrative NIL-related offer from another program before the May 1 transfer portal closing in a report detailed by 247Sports. But Worthy ultimately decided he would stay in Austin.

–Field Level Media

Dec 8, 2020; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; A general view of a reflection of the Miami Hurricanes school logo on the scorers table prior to the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Purdue Boilermakers at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA releases new NIL guidelines regarding boosters

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors on Monday sent member schools guidelines to govern name, image and likeness (NIL) rights.

NIL has become the primary avenue college athletes have been able to explore to generate revenue for themselves since that practice became legal from an NCAA perspective last summer.

The new guidelines, which arrive 10 months after the NCAA lost its Supreme Court case pertaining to student revenue, dictate that boosters should not have contact with prospective college athletes nor their family or other representatives, a clear attempt to limit incentivizing athletes to sign with schools.

Per the official documentation, “NCAA rules preclude boosters from engaging in recruiting activities, including recruiting conversations, on behalf of a school. Further, NCAA recruiting rules preclude boosters from providing benefits to PSAs and preclude institutional staff members from being involved, directly or indirectly, with the provision of benefits to a PSA (prospect student athlete).

“Recruiting conversations between an individual or entity that has triggered booster status and a PSA are not permissible.

“NIL agreements must be based on an independent, case-by-case analysis of the value that each athlete brings to an NIL agreement as opposed to providing compensation or incentives for enrollment decisions, athletic performance, achievement or membership on a team.”

The NCAA’s guidance, therefore, arrives with the suggestion that NIL payments to entice recruits has never been acceptable, not even in light of the rules changes last summer, and could result in sanctions retroactively.

“While the NCAA may pursue the most outrageous violations that were clearly contrary to the interim policy adopted last summer, our focus is on the future,” board chair and University of Georgia president Jere Morehead told ESPN.

That statement provides some of the sharpest teeth the NCAA has yet displayed throughout this process, though the risk of antitrust lawsuits levied by boosters remains a deterrent against the NCAA providing a heavy hand in enforcement.

NCAA sanctions against violating schools are more likely to focus on institutional punishment rather than player eligibility, per reporting from Sports Illustrated, though it remains unclear what that might entail.

–Field Level Media

Quarterback Arch Manning 16 throws a pass as Newman takes on Lafayette Christian Academy in the LHSAA Div III semi finals.  Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021.

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SEC, Pac-12 commissioners in D.C. for NIL guidance

Federal Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation is the subject of the Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference commissioners’ visit to Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Multiple conference commissioners have voiced concern the current NIL rules leave open pay-for-play and recruitment weapons the NCAA insists can be avoided.

“Either the NCAA is going to get its act together in enforcing this,” said George Kliavkoff, Pac-12 commissioner, in an ESPN interview. “Or I’m going to be pushing for a smaller group to figure out how to create and enforce the NIL rules that we all agree on related to inducement and pay-for-play. The amount of an NIL payment should be commensurate with the work done as a backstop to make sure we’re not using it related to inducement and pay-for-play.”

Estimates for NIL earnings for top college football recruit Arch Manning, a pro-style quarterback and nephew to Peyton and Eli, are between $1.5 million and $2 million.

Policy and protocol for NIL deals are loosely defined since going into effect last summer in a landmark shift in amateurism and NCAA guidelines for student-athletes and their schools.

One of the primary reasons SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and Kliavkoff are on Capitol Hill: Kliavkoff believes the “existential threat of our student-athletes being deemed to be employees” to be real.

Kliavkoff was part of a committee under outgoing NCAA president Mark Emmert that requested oversight from Congress. The thrust of the request, as outlined in detail by Emmert before the 2022 Final Four, is confusion around widely varying state laws and the application of NIL without the benefit of precedent.

“I think it’s more likely that we eventually get federal legislation on name, image and likeness, but we’re also interested in discussing all of the harm that will come to student-athletes if they are deemed to be employees,” Kliavkoff said.

In Sankey’s dominant football conference, coaches fired accusations in February that NIL deals are driving recruiting decisions. Alabama coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher have volleyed barbs related to standards and practices, while also asking for uniform NIL rules and policies in all states.

Fisher said Wednesday at the Houston Touchdown Club that college football needs “uniformity to make it fair for everybody across the board” immediately.

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin also prodded Fisher and the Aggies for having a different “budget” for recruits.

“I joked the other day I didn’t know if Texas A&M was going to incur a luxury tax and how much they paid for their signing class,” Kiffin said in February.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2021; Logan, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Baylor Romney (16) hands the ball off to running back Lopini Katoa (4) during the first quarter against the Utah State Aggies at Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA investigating NIL deals of football players at BYU, Miami

The NCAA is investigating name, image and likeness concerns involving football players at BYU and Miami, Sportico reported Friday.

The publication reports that the NIL deals involving those two schools potentially violate marketing rights for college athletes.

Investigators are attempting to determine whether the deals are essentially pay-for-play, which is not allowed under the temporary guidelines set up by the NCAA.

According to the report, BYU’s deal involves a partnership with Built Bar, a protein bar company that provided compensation comparable to the amount of tuition for the academic year to each player on the football team, walk-on players included.

Miami’s deal was reportedly with American Top Team, a South Florida-based Mixed Martial Arts program that reportedly gave a total of $540,000 to 90 players on scholarship.

A Miami spokesman told Sportico the school has not heard from the NCAA. BYU confirmed it has spoken to the NCAA.

“We have communicated with the NCAA concerning the Built Bar NIL arrangement,” BYU associate athletic director for communications Jon McBride told Sportico in a statement. “They have informed us they do not have any additional questions at this time. We will continue to monitor and abide by the NCAA interim NIL policy.”

According to the NCAA’s policy, universities have the right to object to a NIL deal.

“Athletes are expected to understand their school’s NIL policy and keep their school informed of all NIL arrangements,” the policy states. “The best way to ensure student-athletes understand school-specific NIL rules is to work directly with their coaching and the compliance department.”

Earlier this week, NCAA president Mark Emmert told reporters that the entity was investigating possible NIL violations. Emmert didn’t reveal schools.

The NIL industry is in its infancy stage after taking effect on July 1 when the NCAA released a temporary policy. Previously, college athletes were prohibited from accepting compensation of any kind, other than an athletic scholarship.

–Field Level Media

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