Victor Taylor ’24 (he / he), sports journalist
Starting July 2, 2021, college athletes in North Carolina will have the opportunity to capitalize on their name, image and likeness (NIL) that seemed impossible just a few years ago. Athletes in many states in the country can now sign with agents or other professional representation and, more importantly, work with companies to receive compensation in many different ways, such as: B. through free products or money. This article engages in a dialogue with Davidson student-athletes Evie Lake ’24, Emory Lanier ’24, and Bernard Turner ’23 to learn more about their previous personal experiences with NIL and to understand the administrative side. how NIL influenced Davidson’s athletics.
Viktor Taylor: How did you feel about the NIL legislation for you and other college athletes?
Evie Lake: It gives us new opportunities in a place we were previously scared to find ways to capitalize on our brand.
Bernhard Turner: It’s a great way for student athletes across the country to use the platform they have for any purpose or brand they believe or represent. Not only is it nice to benefit from our name and likeness, but it’s also good to have the experience to manage school, athletics and the professional world.
Emory Lanier: The NIL legislation for college athletes is a great opportunity for athletes to benefit from the hard work they do, as well as marketing opportunities and brand building.
VT: Which companies / companies have you worked with so far?
EL: Yerbae and Barstool Sports.
BT: HOOD, a company that specializes in making the most comfortable and luxurious hats you can find anywhere.
EL: VaynerSports and Bojangles gave me the opportunity to do a sponsored post with them.
VT: What attracted you to this company?
EL: Other people on my team brought me up to speed on these two options and I decided to make the most of them.
BT: I was contacted by HOOD to work with their team to develop a hat that is unique to Davidson. I took this opportunity because I love clothing and fashion and the opportunity to create a hat would be a cool way to be creative and get a chance in that area. I also had the chance to work with some Davidson alums, Max Nelson [‘99], Founder of HOOD, Brian Brown [‘98] and my teammate Eli Turner [‘22]. They gave us a free hand in making the hats and were very excited to work with us throughout the process.
EL: They reached out to me and I felt it was a good opportunity to get into a NIL deal and learn more about it.
VT: What compensation did you receive?
EL: Free equipment and products from Yerbae and Barstool are in the process of sending me and other athletes free clothing.
BT: I receive compensation for every hat sold with HOOD.
EL: I received financial compensation for my sponsored post and story.
Not only was the NIL legislation a wild new world for student athletes, it has also prompted coaches and sports administrators to adapt quickly to ensure that student athletes follow the rules correctly so that they aren’t found unsuitable.
The person most involved in this new frontier is sporting director Chris Clunie ’06. When asked how the sports administration is helping players find their way around the landscape, Clunie said that “The focus is on both education and support, and that with the help of the A-10, the school is partnering with TeamAltemus and INFLCR came in to achieve these two things ”. . ”
While Clunie is now happy that NIL laws are available for student athletes, the former basketball player says he “believes the NCAA missed the window to provide a comprehensive and thoughtful structure that encompasses both state and federal frameworks “. “We have a patchwork approach where certain states have NIL legislation and others, like North Carolina, do not currently have NIL legislation, which then puts responsibility on the institutions.” The rules, as exactly as athletes and schools Earning money and being able to sign with professional representation vary between states, which means that now everyone involved is making an effort to keep an eye on what is allowed and what is not.
It could be argued that the plethora of opportunities only available to some athletes based on their talent or followers on social media would create divisions or tension within the dressing room. However, both Clunie and the men’s associate head coach Matt McKillop ’06 said that’s not the case here at Davidson. Given the reach of college basketball in the country, McKillop said “other programs may face challenges this year with NIL but not Davidson,” adding that “players must deal with humility and gratitude at these opportunities, and ours Guys did it “. that has been excellent so far. ”
Among other sports, Clunie says that “because of the breadth of the market, all scientific athletes can choose whether or not to get involved.”
So much is still up in the air about how NIL legislation will affect players and schools. Coach Matt McKillop sees this as a net positive but worries whether bigger schools will use their brand as a recruiting tool to attract players and try to divide college basketball. On a broader athletic level, Clunie sees this, along with the upcoming changes within the NCAA in terms of constitutional governance, reorientation of the conference, and enforcement of the rules, as “a moment of incredible transformation, but whatever the future holds, the focus will continue “. to do athletics at Davidson. ”
With that in mind, it’s safe to say that student athletes at Davidson are already in a great position to make the most of these new potential opportunities to capitalize on their brand.