Friday, July 19, 2024
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Tech Exploring NIL Collective For Athletics

As college sports navigates an ever-changing landscape, Tech Athletic Director Mark Wilson said a name, image, likeness collective could be the next step to enhance Tech athletics.

NIL refers to a student athlete’s ability to make monetary gains off of their name, image, and likeness. Since the NCAA implemented new guidelines in January 2021, over 90 percent of Power 5 Schools have formed at least one collective.

“I believe it is necessary,” Wilson said. “Because I believe that it allows the young men and young women that are student athletes at Tennessee Tech to have opportunities to use their voice, to use their brand to enhance themselves and local business.”

Since NIL has been introduced, Tech athletes have been able to pursue partnerships with local or national brands. But Wilson said forming a collective would create a one-stop shop for athletes and businesses to benefit from NIL. Wilson said that the collective has been in the works for awhile.

“We do have some active leaders that do want to see Tennessee Tech athletics grow and prosper,” Wilson said. “They want to see our programs win. They know what winning programs do for the university, for the community, for the entire upper Cumberland region. So, we’re really looking forward to seeing what this could look like.”

While Tech doesn’t have the economy or boosters like the SEC, Big 10, or the ACC, the size of the collective is not a concern to Wilson, the opportunities outweigh the challenges. Wilson said he sees NIL as a mutually beneficial relationship for student athletes and local businesses.

“So, I think that is really a great opportunity,” Wilson said. “It’s an opportunity for businesses to grow their business. It’s an opportunity for student athletes to grow and enhance their brand. And they’ll benefit a little bit financially from that, while they’re a student at Tennessee Tech.”