The issue of name, image, and likeness has been present in college athletics for years now. On Wednesday, Rutgers made a huge announcement in the fight just hours before the NCAA Council is set to meet.
Rutgers has announced its partnership with Opendorse Ready to launch R Edge. This platform will assist the Scarlet Knights moving forward as they will likely be able to profit from their NIL. From the press release:
“R Edge is a comprehensive program based on the pillars of education, assessment and performance. Student-athletes will be provided with individualized analysis of their social media platforms with in-depth personalized insights and valuation.
Through educational tools, student-athletes will be prepared to examine potential opportunities and understand how to maximize their NIL value. The Opendorse partnership includes live consultation sessions, and on-demand access to the NIL Masterclass, a video series featuring experts on brand building, entrepreneurship, content creation, endorsements, and financial literacy.
R Edge will enhance the student-athlete educational component with unique courses tailored to provide instruction on contracts, trademark licensing, tax implications and the creation of an LLC or foundation.”
On Monday, the NCAA Division I Council voted to support a policy that would allow college athletes to profit off their NIL. On Wednesday, the Division I Board of Directors will meet to review and vote on the proposal. If passed, the NCAA will suspend amateurism rules prior to state NIL laws that take effect on July 1. The NCAA will defer to schools to set guidelines in states where there are no NIL guidelines as of Thursday.
This is something that Rutgers’ guard Geo Baker has been vocal about for months now.
Baker helped launch the #NotNCAAProperty movement during a season that saw the Scarlet Knights return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 30 years. Baker was also part of a group that met with NCAA President Mark Emmert back in April.
Rutgers is preparing for the big change and it is something that athletes should be excited about moving forward.
“The R Edge program is a major step in helping our student-athletes maximize their potential,” said Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs in a press release. “We make every effort to prepare our student-athletes for success in the classroom and in competition. In this fast-changing landscape, we also want to do everything we can to prepare them to take advantage of these new opportunities. The New York metropolitan area offers unique access and exposure for any student-athlete competing for the Scarlet Knights.”