Despite only notching a few appearances during his Freshman year at Alabama, Crimson Tide Quarterback Bryce Young is already netting close to 1 million dollars in endorsements. This is following the recent installment of new NIL rules approved by the NCAA which allows for players to make money off their Name, Image and Likeness.
Coach Saban gave an address at the Texas High School Coaches Association’s annual convention where he mentioned, “Our quarterback already has approached ungodly numbers. I’m not going to say what they are. He hasn’t even played yet. He hasn’t been a starter… It’s almost seven figures…”. Referring to the money Young has made through endorsements and partnerships with various businesses.
Coach Saban also addressed how these numbers come as even more of a surprise given Young’s inexperience, “And it’s like, the guy hasn’t even played yet. That’s because of our program”. This just goes to show the kind of extraordinary financial potential that awaits the next generations of student-athletes.
For a player as inexperienced as Young, despite his already high profile, to be making that kind of money is truly a testament to college sports and their prominence in today’s economy. It also shows the opportunities deprived from college athletes in the past. One can only imagine how much a player like Lebron James or Trevor Lawrence would have made before making the jump to professional sports. Not that they need it or anything.
These vast monetary rewards, while potentially life-changing for some players, may be a source of resentment for others. As by nature, playing certain positions makes it more likely to attract big money endorsements.
Saban made a remark towards the potential inequality in endorsement money based on the different positions players play, “Everything in high school and college football has always been equal for everyone. It’s not going to be that way anymore. Aaron Rodgers makes $24 million a year, and probably several million more in endorsements because he’s the quarterback. The right guard probably makes a million a year, and he doesn’t get anything from endorsements. The same thing is going to happen to our team. Certain positions probably enhance opportunity to create value, like quarterback.” This will add a new psychological and emotional aspect to college locker rooms that did not exist prior to the recent NIL ruling.
With the new financial aspect of a college career, it will be interesting to see if more players make efforts towards playing more exciting positions such as Quarterback or Wide Receiver as opposed to Offensive or Defensive lineman. Or if those occupants of less glamorous positions decide to make their voices heard about any financial inequalities.
Either way, the era of college athletes making big bucks is here. And soon, more players like Young will begin to attract large endorsements and leave their teammates behind financially.