The NCAA made a decision to allow student-athletes to benefit from their name-image-likeness 18 months ago. Now, Rutgers has publicly asked fans for support.
On Monday, Athletic Director Pat Hobbs sent a letter to the fanbase asking for support of the athletes in their NIL journeys. This is the first time that the school has made a public endorsement since the NCAA’s decision.
Rutgers is not the first program to do so. In recent weeks, both Oklahoma and Penn State spoke out to their fanbases asking for similar support.
“Recently, the NCAA issued additional guidance which allows universities greater ability to encourage their fanbases to support student-athletes in these endeavors,” Hobbs wrote in the letter. “The rules continue to prohibit Rutgers and its employees from representing student-athletes or negotiating deals on their behalf, but provides new avenues for us to work with you to assist our student-athletes with their NIL activities.”
The Scarlet Knights released “R Edge Marketplace” this year. This is a portal that enables companies to link athletes with the right sponsorships. Also, The Knights of the Raritan acts as a booster-led program. Now, Hobbs spoke publicly on behalf of the athletic department calling out to fans.
“The rules continue to prohibit Rutgers and its employees from representing student-athletes or negotiating deals on their behalf, but provides new avenues for us to work with you to assist our student-athletes with their NIL activities. Rutgers Nation is a passionate fanbase. Together we are writing the next great chapter. I know you want to support our Scarlet Knights in any way you can. I encourage you to explore ways in which you, your business or your contacts might benefit from engaging our student-athletes in NIL opportunities, either directly, through collectives such as The Knights of the Raritan and The Knight Society, or otherwise. My compliance team stands ready to assist you in navigating this new and evolving landscape.”
Thanks to some of these initiatives, athletes such as Caleb McConnell, Paul Mulcahy, and Noah Vedral have signed deals. With the help of fans, Rutgers believes that there could be more on the horizon.
“It is an exciting time to be a Scarlet Knight. Our student-athletes know they are receiving a world-class education at Rutgers while they compete at the highest level in the athletic arena. I have long said that our student-athletes are our greatest ambassadors, they can be yours as well. Let’s do everything we can to support our student-athletes. Go RU!”