NIL deals help student-athletes from non-revenue sports profit from their own images

DePaul recently signed on with Athlete Advantage to help educate and protect athletes who can make tens of thousands of dollars

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Wednesday, September 7, 2022
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Experts say the NIL deals are changing the entire landscape of amateur sports.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In the old days, these student-athletes run up and down the court sharing their talents in exchange for a scholarship, but now, it's a new world. Many of them are getting paid for their name, image and likeness, also known as NIL.

Sophomore Aneesah Morrow, from Simeon High School, is a second-team All-American who has several deals with companies.

"We're grateful," said Morrow, who now plays for the DePaul Blue Demons. "We have extra opportunities we didn't get in the past. It's super important."

The law that allows student-athletes to profit from their own images is now helping not only big-time football and basketball players, but also those from non-revenue sports. Many of the deals for athletes involve social media posts.

"When you think about life lessons, it's a great thing and I'm glad we're involved in it," said DePaul Athletic Director Dewayne Peevy.

RELATED: IL college athletes could soon profit endorsement deals, just like pros

DePaul recently signed on with a company called Athlete Advantage to help educate and protect their athletes who can make tens of thousands of dollars.

"This was not something to be scared of. This was something to be promoted," said Ryan Maxwell, with Athlete Advantage.

The daughter of legendary Notre Dame Basketball Coach Digger Phelps launched her website "Golden Touch" Wednesday to help Fighting Irish and St. Mary's athletes from all sports connect with NIL deals.

"We are democratizing what we're doing with our deals. We care about the rowers and the fencers as much as we care about basketball and football," said Karen Phelps, creator of Golden Touch.

Experts say the NIL deals are changing the entire landscape of amateur sports.

"For people who say amateur athletes shouldn't be doing this, it's been going on for years now and this is just a new different platform for it to happen," said Joe Tros, a student-athlete advocate.

There are 215 student-athletes at DePaul right now and about half of them have NIL deals. Their athletic director said it's a good opportunity for them and he'd like to see that number grow.