FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – It’s been just over a year since the NCAA decided that college athletes can capitalize on their name, image, and likeness. And athletes all over the country were making money. Some of the most lucrative deals we’ve seen so far have been worth millions of dollars, including a $9.5 million deal for a high school quarterback who recently signed with the Miami Hurricanes. As NIL’s incentive-based programs grow across the country, the Bison Football team has seen their players benefit from what coach Matt Entz calls merit-based deals.
“So I saw that the rule originally was that you have to provide these companies or those people who want to provide something for nothing.” Antz said. “It was on merit. I think what you see here locally is what the rule was intended to be.”
“A lot of these schools have more opportunities and you see a different NIL story from them every week.” Said the senior receptionist Phoenix Sproules. “Here we don’t really hear about them much.”
Sproles is just one of the bison athletes to take advantage of this ruling. The Senior Wide Receiver has promoted various works to thousands of followers on social media. National champ, quarterback, Cam Miller also struck a deal recently. He has been the star in a series of commercials for a local mattress company. While these athletes are happy to be able to use their influence to make some income. They say the focus for this team is football first.
“I feel like it’s a really good thing for college football, up to a point.” Miller said. “If your focus is still on football and not making money, you are doing the right thing.”
“We are still football. We are football.” Sproles have been added. “No deals, they will come, it’s not really a major focus but they help out whenever needed. And they do a really good job of preparing the guys for success with NIL.”
NIL deals have made the task of recruiting athletes more difficult, with some choosing where to go based on NIL programs. Coach Entz told us earlier this season that they lost three recruits because different schools had better zero incentives. Entz told us that some changes may have to be made if the Bison are to stay competitive.
“I don’t know if we can sit here and say we’re going to ignore it because it’s not going away.” Antz said. “My job is to make sure that I protect this program and put the best product in the field. If that means we need to somehow expand on the NIL, maybe we need to do some research and start looking at that.”
What these changes may be within the Bison Athletic division remains to be seen. But they made it clear that they will look to evolve with the College Football scene, while staying true to North Dakota State.
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