Board discusses nearly $3 million in void deals and policy’s impact on student-athletes

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The Legal, Risk and Compliance Committee of the Ohio State Board of Directors met Thursday to discuss the impact that the lifting of name, image and likeness restrictions on the NCAA took on Ohio State student-athletes. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | photo editor

The Legal, Risk and Compliance Committee of the Ohio State Board of Trustees met Thursday to discuss the impact of the NCAA’s lifting of name, image and likeness on Ohio State student-athletes.

As of Jan. 23, 225 Ohio State student-athletes have earned nearly $3 million in 619 NIL trades, athletic director Gene Smith said. Providing a previously untapped revenue stream for student-athletes, he said the university endorses student-athletes’ accessibility to these offerings.

“[The athletic department] embraced the name, image and likeness as an opportunity to educate our student-athletes on a number of different issues,” said Smith.

Smith said NIL opportunities teach athletes how to build a brand, broker deals and make money from their name. NIL agreements also give those attending school on partial scholarships the ability to pay off student debt with their earnings, Smith said.

Smith said Ohio State currently ranks No. 1 nationally in NIL earnings and the number of student-athletes with at least one NIL activity. The university ranks #2 nationally in NIL activities, NIL pay per activity, and percentage of student-athletes with at least one NIL activity.

Smith said in Ohio State men’s soccer, players made 173 deals totaling nearly $2.7 million, with the average payout per deal in Ohio State around $15,500, compared to a national average of $2,700.

During the reunion, freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson spoke about how NIL opportunities and learning-related skills have impacted his experience as a student-athlete. He said he mainly wanted to help his mother by using his NIL product.

“Growing up, I watched my mom struggle to take care of me and my two brothers on her own. All I ever wanted was to be able to give her back one day,” Henderson said. NIL does not start, it was difficult for me to help take care of her due to the monthly expenses. When the NIL finally passed, it changed my life forever.

Sarah Morbitzer, a second-year defensive specialist for the women’s volleyball team, said she made $1,600 in one week doing volleyball workouts in her high school gymnasium.

Morbitzer said the NIL deals allowed him to spend his time playing volleyball and school while remaining financially stable in college.

“Being a walk-on, my parents had to pay for my tuition, room and board,” Morbitzer said. “Learning about NIL gave me the opportunity to earn money on my own without having a real job that I would struggle to find hours to commit to.”

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