Dozens of Mizzou athletes make name, image and likeness declarations, AD Sterk says

College

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk says dozens of Mizzou athletes have already disclosed they plan to cash in on Missouri’s new name, image and likeness legislation.

Sterk spoke to reporters Thursday, ahead of the upcoming school year, and a big topic was name, image and likeness endorsements. The Show-Me State already passed laws in May allowing student-athletes at NCAA schools to earn money from their brand.

Sterk’s opening comments:

“Our Missouri NIL bill is on the governor’s desk. I really appreciate the support of our legislators to pull it together. It was definitely needed because in the space of the states, Congress and Supreme Court, no one knew what was really going on. 

“At least we had a state bill that was on the books that we could look towards and plan for. So that’s helping guide us, as we move forward from July. Where that leads in intercollegiate athletics in the future, I’m not sure.”

Sterk’s initial thoughts on NIL:

“The ability for students to monetize their name, image and likeness in a way that other students can, I think, is very beneficial.

“The crux of the issue comes with other students aren’t actively recruited like intercollegiate athletics and have folks that are really interested in that. What are those guardrails to keep us in the area. It gives them the opportunity to make money if there is to be made. 

“But also avoid the pitfalls of things going down a road you don’t want as well. Those are the challenges.” 

On NIL possibly widening the gap in college football:

“I don’t think it widens the gap. I think there’s going to be opportunity across the nation with different teams. So I think it puts things out in the open that you can see and allow. I think there’s going to be some student athletes who are disappointed. They thought they were worth this, and they’re coming to the real world. They may not be the next Patrick Mahomes in being able to get deals with everyone. 

“I think for us, and Eli (Drinkwitz) as we looked at it, there was almost a vacuum gap of how can we go ahead with this if the NCAA’s not coming forward with legislation. It looked like Congress was not going to do it. So it was very important for us to really have the state involved with that. And have some guidelines that were similar to other states in the SEC. 

“It was 50 NIL disclosures from student-athletes so far.”

Educating student-athletes on NIL:

“It was important. That’s why we signed with open doors a while ago and really started to educate them and have masters classes. 

“We’ve had it with the student-athletes, with the head coaches, with the staff. I think our staff plans to give weekly updates on questions and answers and things to avoid. So that our student athletes are up to speed on what the latest is, as far as opportunities. But also the pitfalls. 

“Here’s what happens and here are the issues. So we’re planning also in the fall to have classes on taxes and entrepreneurship. We’ll have this seminars with our student-athletes. I think it’s going to be a never ending continuing education and it’ll be happening in our Mizzou Made education programs. 

On receiving money from donors:

“I think it could impact our financial bottom line in some areas. So we’ve tried to look at that and plan for an impact if you will in those areas of that could be impacted. I don’t think so. Intercollegiate athletics and the difference and why I got into it in the first place is the educational side of things. 

“We’re going to continue to stress our No. 1. As crazy and as important as athletics is, and the competition, and the wins and losses. It’s way more important for them to get their degree. 

“We need to really stay focused on that and that’s where our fundraising core has been of raising money for scholarships and we need to continue to point that out. And yeah, some people may make that choice. But I think most understand what we’re trying to do and believe in what we’re trying to do.”

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