Texas ‘Charity’ Announces How Much Money Longhorns Offensive Linemen Will Make

The Wild West of name, image & likeness in college athletics took yet another turn Monday when Horns with Heart, an organization started to funnel money to Texas Longhorns athletes using the NIL rules, announced it would be paying UT offensive linemen $50,000 a year.

The organization said the money would be paid for “use of their NIL” and for the players’ participation in charitable causes. Texas boosters want offensive linemen, and they want them so badly they’re willing to throw $50,000 at them per year.

If it’s starting to sound like boosters will just go out and hire players, your ears aren’t deceiving you.

“It is us and Oregon, and that should be how it is,” Rob Blair, who helped start Horns with Heart, told On3 about how we’re in the middle of a college football arms race. “Getting out at the forefront of (NIL) is the biggest thing for us — making sure Texas is not getting left behind. Regardless of the product on the field, our support for the University of Texas goes well beyond wins and losses.”

The Horns boosters are calling this offensive lineman payment project the Pancake Factory. In a press release for the Factory, Horns with Heart noted that the money will be made available to “every eligible scholarship offensive lineman at the University of Texas starting on August 1, 2022.”

The UT offensive linemen join the tight ends as paid units at the school. Early this fall, a “Burnt Ends” program was announced and it will pay the tight ends “a four-figure monthly stipend” that’s available even to walk-ons. Rob Blair started that program as well.

While the tight ends program will be funded primarily through crowdsourcing, Blair explained to On3 that donors will fund the Pancake Factory.

At Oregon, Phil Knight and Oregon donors started Division Street, Inc., which will funnel money to athletes for name, image and likeness. Former Nike executive Rosemary St. Clair will serve as chairman of the board.

“Student-athletes have a full plate, and figuring out how to monetize their brands is an incredible challenge,” St. Clair said back in the fall. “Our team has spent decades building the brands of the world’s best athletes, and we will use that experience to elevate NIL opportunities by bringing in leading expertise across brand, marketing, sponsorship, digital and creative to support all Oregon student-athletes, inclusive of every sport and across gender.”

In other words, your grandpa’s version of college football is history and there’s no going back. The future is here and athletes being paid an annual salary is here to stay. You either join the arms race or you get left behind.

One of Division Street’s first projects was with Airbnb where Ducks linebacker Noah Sewell was compensated for consulting on a Ducks-themed Airbnb that guests can book in Eugene.

Linebackers working as consultants. Offensive linemen making $50k annually. Tight ends on stipends. All Miami Hurricane players making $600 a month just for being on the team.

Buckle up. The money hasn’t even really started to fly yet.

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

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