Do Montana Collegiate Athletes Make Huge Money With NIL?

In July of 2021, the NCAA made a landmark decision that would affect the entire college athletic landscape.  The introduction of the name, image and likeness (NIL) for athletes to make money, without losing eligibility or scholarships during their college career.

Whether it was a good or bad decision won't probably be known for several more years, as things even out and the kinks are worked out.  That doesn't mean that athletes are taking advantage of the rule, even right here in Montana.

That Is an Awfully Lot of Zeros All Lined Up in a Row

In data released by Opendorse, in just the first year of NIL athletes cashed in around $917 million dollars.  On average, a NCAA Division 1 player received $3,700 while certain athletes were cashing in for six figures.  Familiar names like Bronny James in basketball and Olivia Dunne in gymnastics are garnering enormous amounts.

What about Montana athletes?  Are some of our star athletes taking advantage of their name, image or likeness with endorsements from businesses?

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How Many Athletes Have Deals, What Businesses and What Sports?

Yes, Montana college athletes are finding NIL endorsements according to NIL College Athletes.  At our universities, U of M is leading with 10 players, MSU has 7 that are being endorsed by businesses.  Many of those listed at both universities are sponsored by the company Barstool Sports.

As for the sports that are showing the biggest numbers, across the nation and even in Montana football leads the way with the most athletes being endorsed.  In Montana, basketball, volleyball, track and field, even cross country is represented for sports with athletes doing endorsements.

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