More clarity following NIL changes

Spyre Sports hosted UT student athletes and businesses hoping to clear up NIL confusion.
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 11:32 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Thursday Spyre Sports Group hosted UT student-athletes and businesses with the idea to clear up any unanswered NIL questions.

With football players in attendance, along with golf’s Spencer Cross and softball’s Amanda Ayala the group, business owners and event sponsors all talked and learned more about what everyone hopes to get out of NIL.

”You know a lot of us are super grateful for the education we’re getting to have and that’s always first, but I think it’s awesome to be able to engage a little more with the fans and the city of Knoxville and stretch it as much as we can while we’re still here,” said Ayala.

While the dollar amounts that student-athletes can earn are still to be determined, there’s a growing feeling this change is good for all involved.

”This is a great opportunity for all student-athletes,” said Sevier County native and UT golf athlete Spencer Cross.

Cross hopes to match his image with his leadership style.

While part of an Olympic sport, Cross says NIL could benefit the school and program just as much as the athlete.

”This opens so many opportunities not only as a player but as a team and just recruiting in general,” said Cross.

While money will go to players, there’s also a belief that this money could go back to causes they hold close to their hearts.

”I like to give back, that’s my biggest thing,” said Quarterback Joe Milton. “I came from nothing so being able to give back to people that might be around the corner in Knoxville, that’s pretty dope because I have what I want and that’s football.”

In the question and answer portion of the night, there was more clarity about how the name, image, and likeness will work.

There will have to be a quid pro quo, meaning the athlete will have to perform some sort of service for a return of money.

There cannot be any performance-based incentive for the return of money.

Athletes will have to report their income to the university’s compliance department.

There cannot be any money promised in recruiting either.

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