Miami quarterback D'Eriq King and Florida State QB McKenzie Milton were ready to roll as soon as July 1 became reality.
Just after midnight Thursday, King and Milton announced the launch of a company that will facilitate endorsement and sponsor deals for college athletes. College athletes across the country were allowed to capitalize on their own name, image and likeness rights for the first time on Thursday as states like Florida enacted laws allowing college athletes to make money on their names.
The company started by the two quarterbacks allows people to book college athletes for appearances on the site. It features athletes like Ole Miss QB Matt Corral, Indiana QB Michael Penix and Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks.
While appearance fees for Milton and King are $2,000 each, Penix’s fee is $500 and Brooks is asking just $350, Corral is going for the gold. His appearance fee listed on the site as of Thursday morning was $10,000.
The roster of athletes available on the site is likely to grow in the coming days as players and schools begin to navigate the new NIL waters. And the company is a smart idea from two recognizable players in college football. Not only are they capitalizing on their new rights now, it's a business that could be fruitful for many years to come after they leave school.
"This is an opportunity for me to get my foot in the door to start being an entrepreneur, but this is also something that I'm passionate about, helping college athletes monetize off their name, image and likeness," Milton told ESPN. "This should have been something going on for a while, but now it's here, and it's a cool opportunity."
A new era in college athletics
The NCAA finally approved changes to its longstanding NIL rules on Wednesday, just hours before a handful of state laws across the country were set to go into effect and allow players to make money on their image rights.
The NCAA and its member schools understood that schools in states that had NIL laws would be at a recruiting advantage and efforts to have a federal framework for superseding national laws ahead of July 1 weren't successful.
That meant the NCAA had to implement an interim solution. That interim solution essentially asks schools not to enforce previous NIL rules and leaves a lot of decisions regarding athlete endorsements up to the schools themselves. Especially for the schools located in states without NIL laws.
The upcoming weeks and months will be a test period of sorts as athletes begin to cash in and schools figure out what they do and don't want to allow. There will inevitably be some minor controversy and maybe even the threat of legal action over a business deal or three.
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