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The Lead Up to NIL

    Arkansas Basketball

    NIL NETWORK INSIGHT Recap: The Arkansas Razorback’s Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek announced that the athletic department is hiring a senior athletic director whose main role will be handling student-athlete branding. The university is also partnered with the cloud-based service INFLCR. “The name image and likeness train is coming down the track quickly,” Yurachek stated, “I thought (the senior AD position) would be a better resource for student-athletes to have someone internal. That’s why we’re making that investment right now.” Observations: So far, it seems like the NCAA wants the deals surrounding an athlete’s NIL to be separated from the university. I’m curious how much internal guidance will be permitted and if so, if additional staff specific to NIL and branding will become the “norm” at large D1 institutions.  Also, this hiring move sparks a bigger debate: how much bigger will the gap become between the “haves” and “have nots”. The ability for an athletic department to provide resources, and now staff, around branding and NIL is a massive recruiting advantage. Will conferences put guidelines in place to even the playing field? The NCAA may have delayed a decision on players’ “right to publicity,” also commonly referred to as Name, Image and Likeness, but the University of Arkansas is already taking major steps to ensure they aren’t behind the curve when legislation does eventually pass. Arkansas Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek announced in a press conference with local media on Thursday that the athletics department is close to putting a senior athletic director in place to handle branding for Razorback student-athletes. It’s yet another move for the Hogs to keep up with the times after they partnered with “INFLCR” in 2019. INFLCR is a cloud-based service that holds content for student athletes and brand ambassadors to use in order to build up what the kids would call “clout.” Once the NCAA approves NIL legislation, student athletes will be able to sign contracts to profit off of their brand by advertising for local businesses and more. Most deals will naturally go to the stars of the teams but with enough internet clout, even a well-branded backup could find avenues for endorsements. “The name image and likeness train is coming down the track quickly even though that was tabled at last week’s NCAA meetings.,” AD Yurachek said. “There’s still state legislation in many states across our country. We believe there will be federal legislation. That’s coming.” READ MORE