College football jerseys have been sold to fans for quite some time. But for the first time ever, college players now are able to receive a portion of sales thanks to name, image, and likeness (NIL) rules. While that as a whole is a great thing, the cut these players are reportedly receiving is far from it.
Fanatics, a billion-dollar sports retailer, announced it would be selling replica jerseys of more than 4,300 college athletes from around 40 big-name programs. Each jersey is being sold for $139.99, which would lead you to believe the players would be pocketing a good bit of the profit.
That's not the case at all.
While Fanatics has not shared the official portion players receive, sports and intellectual property lawyer Darren Heitner uncovered some numbers.
According to Heitner, athletes earn a 4% royalty ($5.60) from each $140 replica jersey sale. That's pretty terrible, and it gets worse.
OneTeam, a group licensing company, takes a 30% cut for organizing the group licensing deal. This leaves the athlete making a whopping $3.92 from each jersey sale.
While the Bryce Youngs, Quinn Ewers, and CJ Strouds of the college football world will still make thousands, they're also losing thousands given how low their royalty return number is.
At the core, NIL is meant to provide for college athletes, but sending them less than $4 from a $140 jersey sale seems like quite the opposite.