Toxic Mix. A Name, Image, Likeness Deal In Collegiate Athletics Is Pairing Sports And Politics For First Time.

What seemed like a good idea is turning into something that could implode collegiate sports and add to the dissension that is already tearing at America. NIL – name, image, and likeness, the vehicle instituted last year that allows college athletes to get paid for playing.  Legally.

Last week Alabama coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher unleashed verbal bombs at each other, accusing their rival of cheating and buying players through NIL. 

This week, there’s something new combining two things that most people agree don’t belong together; sports and politics. The quarterback for the University of Tennessee-Martin has accepted a NIL deal with local district attorney general candidate Colin Johnson. Dresser Winn is the QB, and Colin Johnson is a long-time family friend and the candidate for the AG job in the area the Winn’s live. 

This appears to be the first time an athlete has accepted a name, image, likeness deal with a political candidate. Still, it could potentially lead to much more, with little that individual teams or coaches can do to stop a player from accepting a NIL deal. 

It will be interesting to see what Winn does to support Johnson, but he’s most likely going to be on the field a lot this fall, as he has a good chance of being the starter when the season starts. 

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