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Buy a player card, get a player?
The recruiting of college athletes through the Name, Image & Likeness legislation of 2021 that allows athletes to accept money from various entities just got more interesting.
A company called Prospex is promising “a new era” in NIL through a unique recruiting strategy. It has unveiled a trading card program that will get money into the hands of top high school football prospects as various colleges recruit them.
Where Will Jurrion Dickey Go? Tennessee, Oregon?
Among the first prep stars to get involved is 5-star wide receiver Jurrion Dickey of Menlo-Atherton High School in Menlo Park, California. He is being recruited by Oregon, Tennessee and Penn State, among others.
Prospex’s NIL business model attempts to connect fans of college programs to players through the digital sale of that player’s trading card, according to a story by the On3 recruiting website. Various elite players like Dickey name up to 10 programs with whom they are considering signing a scholarship. Fans of those schools can buy that players’ card that will be connected to that fan’s favored school.
How Player Card Process Will Work
When the player eventually signs with and enrolls at a school, fans of that school will receive a collectable version of the card for possible future sales. Fans of schools who lost out can receive 85 percent of their money back. And the player gets 85 percent of the sales of the card to all the fan bases.
Dickey (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) committed to Oregon on May 2, but he is still strongly considering Tennessee and Penn State and will have cards for those three schools’ fan bases to purchase. He is the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation and No. 14 overall prospect, according to 247 Sports’ composite recruit rankings.
The early signing date is on Dec. 21. The second signing date is on February 23.
Jurrion Dickey Is Being Recruited Nationwide
Among the other schools that have offered Dickey a scholarship are Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Miami, Mississippi State, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Washington and Wisconsin.
Conceivably, how many cards of a player that various fan bases purchase could convince said player that that school and/or fan base is really interested in him.
Dickey is excited.
“Just the whole idea about it,” he told On3.
Prospex’s NIL plan by definition does not appear to be breaking the original NCAA rules concerning NIL back in 2021.
NCAA’s NIL Recruiting Rules Are Vague
The NCAA’s interim NIL policy prohibited pay-for-play and impermissible recruiting inducements by not allowing NIL compensation contingent on enrollment at a particular school. Dickey and other elite prospects will be profiting from the purchase of their cards by fans of their new school and the ones they did not choose.
“When recruiting a prospective student-athlete, a coach may share what NIL deals other members of the team have closed and how the institution has helped student-athletes maximize their NIL earning potential,” the NCAA states. “However, coaches cannot guarantee NIL deals to a prospect without violating the NCAA’s interim policy.”