Huskers embracing impacts of NIL on college athletics
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – From name, image and likeness to conference realignment, the landscape of college athletics continue to shift and Nebraska is choosing to embrace the changes by setting the standard.
“I think Nebraska should be one of the best places in the country for NIL,” head coach Scott Frost said. “There’s no other place where I can think of where there’s one school and everybody’s behind it. The passion for Nebraska football is unmatched, everybody wants to support it and be a part of it.”
NIL has had a deep impact on college sports within the past year.
Nebraska has taken action to be ahead of the curve when it comes to their athletes profiting off their likeness.
For Frost, he sees it as another component of being the best saying, “if we want to compete at a national level, we need to compete at a national level with NIL.”
Part of that readiness is coming from the first-ever player-led NIL deal at Nebraska called the Big Red Fan Club.
It is a new way for Husker fans to interact with players through exclusive events and exclusive player-generated content like Q&As and fan videos.
Nebraska junior Garrett Nelson is one of 24 players taking part in the Big Red Fan Club.
“Nebraska’s always been innovative and an innovator in a lot of fields, especially with NIL,” Nelson said. “We’ve always hopped on it first and obviously this club like I said is the first.”
The fan club started as an idea from a few of the players and was established with the help of two Nebraska business students.
“You know these players, they came to us with a great idea and basically asked how can we make this into a reality,” co-founder Zach Molzer said.
“They bring a lot of value to the community through events and they wanted to kind of build a foundation of a little bit something bigger and something a little bit more systematized,” co-founder Rob Khorram said.
Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts is excited about the way NIL is headed at Nebraska.
“Our fanbase is second to none and this is just a way that I think our football players, at least initially have tried to create a way that they can directly communicate with fans and vice versa,” Alberts said. “Give some insight in you know just being authentic and real and allowing people to participate in their journey and if they’re able to benefit from it I think that’s great.”
“I think this is what NIL is for,” Nelson said. “[The Big Red Fan Club] is pretty much just hanging out with the boys honestly.”