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New NIL deal to benefit entire UT Baseball program

The University of Tennessee Baseball program is working with a Las Vegas-based group to make sure every player has the opportunity to get paid.
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 11:32 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Name, Image and Likeness deals usually benefit an individual athlete, but with a new partnership, an entire program could see the benefits. UT Baseball is working with a Las Vegas-based group to help them get paid.

UT Baseball fans said the Basevols were the hottest ticket in town after an electric start to the season. Their play on the field is helping them get paid off of it.

Craig Jenkins, who works for FriendsofBaseVols.com, said, “This team makes it exciting. These players are such good people.”

Advertisers were able to go to this new website and look for a player to promote their product, make an appearance at an event, or host a sports camp. People can also make a one time monetary donation to the program.

Jenkins said the baseball program needed this because college baseball only offers 11 scholarships to athletes. UT Baseball has 44 players on the roster, meaning a majority pay their way through school.

Co-founder of Blueprint Sports, Rob Sine, said, “Baseball has a tremendous value especially if you’re looking at UT because of the success they’ve had on and off the field.”

Sine said most NIL deals were for football and baseball players. Sine was working with UT Baseball to get into an untapped market.

“As far I know, this is the first NIL collective built around a baseball team and it’s only fitting that it’s for the Basevols,” Sine said.

Fans and companies can pay anywhere from $5 to $5,000.

Jenkins said, “We’re just regular people trying to help extraordinary young people.”

Some players were already benefitting from NIL. Jordan Beck was making money from the Mike Honcho sherseys. Spyre Sports said as of Monday morning, 3,000 have been sold and Beck has likely made $7,000 from them.

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