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NCAA athletes dive into new NIL rights with iced tea deals, branded apparel and paid messages

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix announced his first endoresement deal at 12:01 a.m on Thursday. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix wasted almost no time taking advantage of new NCAA regulations that allow college athletes to profit off their name, image or likeness. At 12:01 a.m. Thursday, one minute into the first day that such transactions were allowed, he posted to Instagram his first endorsement, for an Alabama-based company that makes iced tea and other beverages.

“Milo’s Tea is a family tradition at the Nix house — especially for holidays — so I’m excited to represent the best sweet tea ever!” he wrote, describing his “first sponsorship as a college athlete!”

The lifting of NIL restrictions will offer college athletes a host of new ways to take advantage of their standing: with endorsement deals, commercials, camps, clinics and other moneymaking opportunities that were once outlawed by the NCAA. And as this new era arrived Thursday morning, plenty of athletes and companies hurried into this new marketplace.

Miami quarterback D’Eriq King was not far behind Nix, announcing at 1:36 a.m. that his online store was open for business at It’s described as “the fan’s direct connection to D’Eriq King” and features apparel branded with his logo along with signed memorabilia. Iowa men’s basketball player Jordan Bohannon also opened up a merchandise store (at, as did Kentucky’s Dontaie Allen.

Nebraska volleyball player Lexi Sun, meanwhile, began selling branded sweatshirts through the volleyball apparel company Ren, what she called a “fun/happy lil project.”

What to know about name, image and likeness and how it will affect the NCAA

King and other college athletes signed on with Dreamfield, which describes itself as “a marketplace allowing athletes to profit from their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) rights by booking events such as personal appearances, virtual meetings, autographs, and much more!” One of those other players is Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral, who is going big right from the jump, asking for $10,000 an hour.

Fresno State women’s basketball twins Haley and Hanna Cavinder inked deals with Boost Mobile and a supplement company called Six Star, the companies announced. Haley averaged 19.8 points while Hanna was at 17 points for the Bulldogs last season, but perhaps more enticingly for brands, they have 3.3 million followers on their joint TikTok account.

“It was really exciting that such a known company wanted to work with Hanna and me,” Haley Cavinder said, via “This is a big switch for all student-athletes. Being able to use your name, image and likeness is something we all deserve, and I’m really thankful the NCAA is finally passing this.”

Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan let it be known that he was now available on Cameo, which allows fans to pay for personalized video messages from famous people.

Clemson running back Darien Rencher tried positioning himself as something of a motivational speaker on his site, which reads like a résumé.

“Desires to help add value to events, businesses, and brands,” the page reads. “Looking forward to partnering and helping build something special.”

Runza, a small restaurant chain that’s headquartered in Nebraska, announced this week that it would offer NIL deals to the first 100 college athletes in the state who promoted the chain’s rewards app on social media. University of Nebraska tight end Austin Allen took Runza up on its offer Thursday, promoting the app and including a photo of himself in front of one of the chain’s locations.

Marshall left tackle Will Ulmer, who plays guitar and banjo and sings, announced that he’s ready to perform at any venue that will have him. “Open to all venues and business opportunities,” he wrote.

Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler said he is donating a portion of his NIL revenue to “underserved people and underserved communities.”

Others, such as Florida wide receiver Jacob Copeland, have let it be known they are willing to listen to any and all offers.

College athletes can finally profit off their celebrity. These five are ready.

“Any companies at all [that] want to use my social media as a platform to promote, do commercials, etc to brand themselves, my DMs are fully open to talk business,” Copeland wrote.

Copeland already has designed T-shirts that he says he plans to sell. The design features a logo with the Gators’ orange and blue color scheme but not Florida’s logo itself: Learfield IMG owns the rights to it and must approve its promotional use.

The NIL rules at Florida establish boundaries that are similar to those at other schools, such as Duke. Athletes may not sign promotional deals with companies involved with sports gambling or performance-enhancing drugs; they must receive approval before using official school logos; NIL compensation cannot be tied to specific performance or continued enrollment at the school; athletes must inform their schools of any NIL agreements they work out; and they cannot engage in NIL activities while performing team duties such as meetings, practices or games.

Florida’s regulations also prohibit athletes from working out NIL deals with boosters of Gators sports.

It’s all been a whirlwind for colleges and the athletes who now can profit off their names, images and likenesses. Just ask Oklahoma:

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