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Mizzou athletes already seeking to jump on new NIL rules

Mizzou Links for June 29, 2021.

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Personal logos, branded posts, endorsements... anything* is possible for a college athlete in 2021!

The floodgates are opening, and popular college athletes are about to be flooded with new ways to make money off of their own name, image and likeness. And it only took until the year of our lord 2021!

Just a few days after The Athletic reported that the NCAA was working with schools to navigate the new playing field, the same outlet reported yesterday that the NCAA D-I Council has recommended the association’s NIL policy to the Board of Directors.

The interim policy is likely to be approved by the board when they meet on Wednesday, sources told The Athletic on Saturday. If approved, athletes in all states will be able to monetize their names, images and likenesses starting on July 1 regardless of which state they are in.

It didn’t take long for the first athlete to jump at the chance. Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz (remember him, recruiting heads?) became the first college athlete — that I can tell — to announce his own branding and trademark.

If Mizzou’s own QB has anything to say about it, Mertz certainly won’t be alone for long. Sophomore Connor Bazelak put himself out there on Twitter on Monday night, and I have to say, I’m fascinated to see what sorts of messages he got.

It may not matter since the NCAA is passing all sorts of rules, but Mizzou Tigers will be fully in the clear legally. Missouri is one of six states where new NIL rules will be effectively legal on July 1 (though I have no indication or knowledge that athletes in other states won’t be in the clear.) And while the NCAA likely won’t have full guidelines in place by then, they seem pretty committed to not rocking the boat. This is from a letter distributed to schools late last week, first reported by The Athletic.

“Although permanent NIL rule changes by July 1 are unlikely due to the legal environment, we are working with divisional governance bodies to develop interim solutions that will fairly allow student-athletes to take advantage of NIL opportunities regardless of the state in which they are enrolled,” Emmert wrote.

This is great. I love watching people be able to take some sort of ownership of their own labor. To all the business owners in CoMo: Hire my guy Connor Bazelak! Hire Tyler Badie! Hire Trajan Jeffcoat! Hire Akayleb Evans! Hire them all!

Let’s see your best pitches for local Columbia, Mo., advertisements with Mizzou athletes in the comments. My vote is for a CJ’s wing-eating contest between Hyrin White and Bobby Lawrence or maybe an Addison’s endorsement deal for Harrison Mevis, but just for the nachos.

* - Anything is not actually possible and college athletes’ labor is still being exploited, pass it on.

Yesterday at Rock M

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