We’re still in the infancy of the NIL era in college sports, but there have already been some very interesting developments across the country. One looming initial question about NIL related to the potential discrepancies star players could earn as opposed to their inherently lesser known teammates. Certain universities implemented group NIL deals to help combat this, and Brigham Young University took a generous step in making sure all players on their football team benefit this summer.
The institution partnered with Built Brands, a protein and energy company headquartered in Utah, to sponsor full scholarships for 36 walk-ons. It’s a wonderful gesture that puts some of the least heralded, but hardest working players in a better financial place.
Walk-on wide receiver Talmage Gunther expressed how much of an impact this would have on his family.
“Oh, thank heavens, my wife is going to be so happy! Now she doesn’t have to stress so much about finances,” he said. “I grew up watching BYU and I’ve always wanted to come here and do whatever it takes and give whatever I can to help the team win.” Via Universe.BYU.edu
The agreement with Built Brands not only gives a full tuition ride for walk-on players; it also provides some level of compensation for all players on the football team.
Nick Greer, co-founder of Built Brands, emphasized the importance of a team spirit in accomplishing common goals.
“Cougar players know success happens when every player invests in each other to do what’s best for the team. That’s what we believe at Built too, and we’re excited to support every player of the BYU football team,” Greer said. Via Sltrib.com
While we don’t know whether a partnership like this can last for multiple years, the fact that BYU was willing to come to an agreement like this is likely only going to help their recruiting efforts moving forward. They would have a compelling argument to make to families and players that they go above and beyond for their players, which might sway a few prospects to decide to spend their college careers in Provo.