Matt Baty, the owner of 6th Man Strategies and 12th Man Strategies, is pushing for federal involvement in name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. Baty runs the two companies in charge of NILs for current University of Kansas men’s and women’s basketball players, as well as the KU football players.
According to an article by Sports Illustrated, NCAA officials may announce NIL rule changes and regulations in the coming weeks. Among these changes is language stressing the penalties for schools using these types of enticements in the recruitment of high school athletes.
“The rule is NIL is not supposed to be a recruiting enticement (or) inducement to go to a university. No question around the country I think you are seeing that play out,” Baty said Friday in a phone interview.
This all comes amidst multiple reports of college athletes receiving giant NIL deal offers as a part of recruitment via the transfer portal.
For example, CBS Sports reported that Pittsburgh wide receiver Jordan Addison recently entered the transfer portal after receiving a $1 million NIL deal by an unnamed school/NIL group.
“That has never been in question at Kansas. We don’t talk to recruits,” Baty said. “Our method, 6th Man Strategies or 12th Man, is if our current student-athletes are making money in NIL, that is going to help in recruiting because when that recruit comes to campus, they are going to ask that question to the current players: ‘Hey are you guys doing a NIL deal and what kind of opportunities do I have if I come to Kansas?’”
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NCAA’s loose hold on NILs
If you know one thing about the NCAA, it’s that they are normally very strict. However, ever since athletes could benefit from NILs, the NCAA has had little to no control over regulations toward it.
Each state in the country has different NIL laws. Some states don’t even have relevant laws, and leave it up to the schools to make their own. Kansas is unfortunately one of those states.
Therefore, the University of Kansas has their own set of adequate rules and regulations that are different from other schools/states.
Baty is confident that his Name/Image/Likeness operations are in strict compliance with the NCAA standards, saying:
“No question we have done everything by the book in a conservative, even more conservative than the rules (require) manner. Let the record be shown KU (compliance) has been at the forefront of making sure our group and any other group interested in getting involved in NIL knows what those rules are, knows the confines in which we can operate and at the end of the day making sure the student-athletes are eligible.”
Jayhawks Ascend NIL operation
In 2021, Kansas Athletics introduced a NIL program named Jayhawks Ascend. The program is designed to capitalize on NILs. It makes sure its student-athletes make the most of the opportunity, as well as stay in line with NCAA regulations.
The four pillars of Jayhawks Ascend are:
- Personal Brand Management
- Name, Image and Likeness Protection
- KU Resource Engagement
- Post KU Preparedness
The Jayhawks Ascend program is open to all Kansas University athletes.
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