Suns Owner Mat Ishbia Pulls The Plug On His Massive NIL Deal With Michigan State

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After officially becoming the owner of both the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury in February, Mat Ishbia’s pocketbook took a hit by the tune of $4 billion. Given the leap into the professional sports world, Ishbia has made some financial moves, with one being cutting off NIL funds to Michigan State.

Ishbia, who was a walk-on point guard for the Spartans, started a NIL program for athletes at his alma mater that allowed men’s basketball, football, and volleyball players to earn up to $700 per month. The teamwide deal let players who posted about Ishbia’s United Wholesale Mortgage company on social media earn monthly payments, but that opportunity is now gone.

Mat Ishbia is ending his NIL deal with Michigan State after becoming the owner of the Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Kate Frese / NBAE via Getty Images)

According to Yardbarker, the company sent a letter to Michigan State student-athletes that the NIL deal would be ending due to a potential conflict of interest.

“As an owner of two professional sports teams, it was asked that Mat/UWM discontinue this NIL partnership to avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest,” the statement read.


The conflict of interest note does make sense as to why he would remove himself from the MSU men’s basketball program. As for cutting off funds for volleyball and football players, he likely could have continued those programs with no issue, but it’s clear he took this as an opportunity to fully rip off the bandaid.

Ishbia has donated close to $50 million to Michigan State athletics over the years. While the NIL program ending may sting a bit, he’s certainly donated his fair share to the university.

Written by Mark Harris

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