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A long time ago, SMU football was king when it came to paying football players in the hope of attracting talent and winning games. Now, according to a report from On3, a group of SMU donors have put together the ‘Boulevard Collective’, which will pay football and basketball athletes $36,000 per year, equaling $3.5 Million annually.
The collective will be led by Chris Schoemann, who is the executive director, announced is a news release on Monday.
“At a time where an athlete’s access to brand and marketing opportunities is more valuable than ever before, we are excited to leverage DFW’s integrated network of corporate, philanthropic, and athletics leaders,” stated Schoemann, executive director, Boulevard Collective. “For a city and alumni base as relationship-oriented as Dallas and SMU, it seems only fitting that the community has come together in this way.”
According to the website, ‘Dallas business leaders and SMU alumni, Chris Kleinert, CEO of Hunt Realty Investments and Kyle Miller, president and CEO of Silver Hill Energy Partners, led the charge to bring about the formation of the Boulevard Collective’, which will now sit with some of the biggest collective groups in the country.
Though this group isn’t affiliated with the university, the money it will be giving student athletes should help the school attract much better players in the long run. Now, who knows if this will actually work and we will have to see a sample size, but the action taken by this collective will undoubtedly raise the profile of what is going on in Dallas.
In an effort to help the student athletes understand the potential of NIL, along with taxes and disclosure to school officials, the collective has partnered with Opendorse.
“The Boulevard Collective will be in elite company in terms of its commitment to student-athletes,” said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “With our unrivaled insight into NIL transactions and the industry at large, it’s clear the Boulevard Collective is initiating one of the most substantive, sustainable efforts nationwide.”
We have seen collectives do this before, like the Texas Tech group ‘The Matador Club’, who said they would be paying every football player $25,000 a year while they are on the team. But what this SMU group is doing has raised the bar in the State of Texas.
Chris Schoemann, who is the executive director, has worked with the school in the past with compliance and infractions, so he is no stranger to the SMU program.
We are seeing a growing trend around the country for collectives to open their wallets and raise money for the schools they support and this is another case of a group trying to get ahead in the NIL game. I don’t know how much a player will make in other deals with this group, but starting off at $35,000 a year in base pay is a nice way to get the ball rolling.
We will now wait to see what other groups across the country come up with, as the NIL race continues.