Ohio State forms internal advisory group to assist athletes with NIL deals

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State’s athletic department has set up an internal advisory group aimed at assisting athletes pursuing name, image and likeness deals.

The formation of the group, known as the NIL Edge Team, was announced Monday as part of updated NIL guidelines.

The department had not previously been facilitating NIL deals for athletes, working with them on limited areas such as education and personal branding in addition to compliance monitoring.

“Our guidelines were initially created to be restrictive,” read a statement from senior associate athletic director Carey Hoyt, also the administrator of Ohio State’s NIL programs, “but now that we have a better understanding of NIL, it’s clear that we can provide more assistance in connecting student-athletes with interested brands.

Fans light up the south stands with cell phone lights during the NCAA football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021.

“By allowing some OSU staff to interact with the brands and to educate and answer questions, we can eliminate hesitancy from brands, and donors, who were concerned about breaking rules.”

The group will work with athletes across all 36 varsity sports at the university.

Since July 1, college athletes have been permitted under NCAA rules to profit from the use of their NIL, making money through endorsement deals, sponsorships and other ventures.

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In Monday’s news release, Ohio State reported that 220 of its athletes have earned a combined $2.98 million over 608 reported NIL deals through the first six months of this new compensation era.

Citing figures tracked by Opendorse, a digital marketing company that has partnered with it and other schools, OSU said it was first nationally in all three of those categories.

Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at jkaufman@dispatch.com or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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