Jimmy’s blog: Not all athletes will cash in on NIL

By Jimmy Hyams

HOOVER, Ala. — Alabama quarterback Bryce Young hasn’t started a college game, but he could start making over $900,000 as he cashes in on Name, Image and Likeness opportunities.

A Miami fitness facility owner is paying Hurricanes to promote his gym. Rival SEC players are pushing Milo’s sweet tea. A Tennessee player who owns a multimillion-dollar landscape business has hired teammates to peddle his product on social media.

Hundreds of student-athletes will make thousands of dollars because of NIL.

But not all.

Tennessee senior defensive back Alontae Taylor will not pursue revenue from NIL. Neither will Georgia quarterback J.T. Daniels or Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis.

“I actually haven’t tapped into Name, Image and Likeness a lot,’’ Taylor said during a session at the SEC Football Media Days. “Right now, my focus is on camp and getting ready for the season.

“It’s kind of late, me being a senior, kind of late down the road for me. …. Do I plan on (pursing NIL)? I don’t have an answer for that. But right now, my focus is on camp and this team and making sure we are where we need to be.’’

Taylor said he’s had a “couple of offers’’ but he wants to “focus on my body and make myself get better for the team.’’

Taylor said he already has a “lot to balance’’ this season: Football, academics, leadership councils.

Taylor did acknowledge that “some of our guys are running with that … and I’m really excited for those guys. I’ve talked to those guys about doing what they’re supposed to do. Make sure you check all the boxes that need to be checked, so that you don’t run into any problems down the road. … Be safe, be careful and make sure they do the best they can.’’

Georgia’s Davis said NIL is a “distraction’’ and he, like Taylor, wants to focus on football.

“Absolutely not,’’ Davis said when asked if he had an NIL deal. “I’ve kinda stayed away from that. I deleted social media so I don’t really have anything going for me.

“But I’m really proud of the players that are doing something and providing for their family.’’

Why avoid NIL?

“It’s a distraction and confusing,’’ Davis said. “A lot of rules and stipulations. … It’s more about football than Name, Image and Likeness for me.’’

Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said players pursuing NIL could also lead to better behavior by players building a brand.

“Absolutely it has a chance to change everybody’s decisions that they’re making, absolutely,’’ Heupel said. “It changes the game.’’

Heupel said players need to be “cognizant of the decisions they’re making and understand that they’ve creating a brand, a resource for themselves so when football ends, they’re ready to attack life.’’

Heupel  said he and his staff are “constantly trying to educate them about positive posts and tweets and negative posts and tweets and what the perception of them is.’’

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