COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State athletes are taking advantage of profiting rights on the first day of a new era in college athletics.
The NCAA cleared the way for athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness on Wednesday, the eve of legislation becoming law in several states that would allow for such compensation. One of those states was Ohio, where Gov. Mike DeWine signed an executive order and the wording was included in the state budget bill.
Ohio State linebacker Teradja Mitchell was the first Buckeye to capitalize on NIL and launched clothing brand called Above The Realm. Mitchell is aligning his new brand with his major of fashion and retail.
Tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere is also jumping in on day one by signing an endorsement deal with the recruiting technology company Flix CV.
Several Buckeyes have signed an endorsement deal with GoPuff, a consumer goods and food delivery service. Those athletes with deals include tight end Jeremy Ruckert, defensive end Tyreke Smith, offensive lineman Dawand Jones and men’s basketball player Zed Key.
Men’s basketball player Meechie Johnson uploaded a paid post on Instagram with KloutMachine, a company that connects athletes with brands and businesses.
Even a freshman on the football team, Ryan Watts, is already benefitting from NIL by uploading a paid post with YOKE, a gaming app that allows users to play against athletes in popular video games. Men’s basketball players Eugene Brown and Key are also endorsed by YOKE.
The approval from the NCAA Board of Directors for NIL came a few days after a recommendation from the Division I Council to allow athletes in every state to pursue compensation for their name, image and likeness without jeopardizing their college eligibility.
The NCAA’s decision to suspend restrictions on payments to athletes for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances applies to all three divisions or some 460,000 athletes.