FRISCO, Texas — The name, image and likeness (NIL) landscape is fluidly changing in college sports, and one of the latest developments in the game is a new fan-to-athlete "Venmo" style app.
Think of it like paying your friend for lunch through Venmo. Except, well, college athletes cannot accept money through Venmo.
So, why is it allowed here?
myNILpay offers taxable transactions fully compliant with NCAA protocol and federal, state and local laws. In exchange for the money sent through myNILpay, fans receive “a unique digital asset featuring the athlete’s name and digital signature” -- an NFT, essentially -- in order for the transaction to meet NCAA compliance. By digitally signing the asset, the athlete then fulfills the NCAA quid-pro-quo stipulation.
“We are thrilled to launch myNILpay as the easiest and most effective way for college fans to support any student-athlete in any NCAA-sanctioned sport at any level, male or female,” myNILpay CEO and Chairman Brent Chapman said in a statement. “The myNILpay app is simple to use and allows fans to provide support at almost any monetary amount at any time. Our platform changes the game for fans to be directly involved in supporting their favorite student-athletes.”
The NCAA is not affiliated with myNILpay.
The new app is already being put to use in North Texas. Former TCU quarterback Andy Dalton has reportedly pledged to send direct payments to more than 450 Horned Frog athletes through the app.
“I think it is wonderful that college athletes can take advantage of their name, image and likeness to make some money,” Dalton told On3.com in a statement. “When I learned about the myNILpay app and saw how easy it was to support any college athlete, it gave me an avenue to show my appreciation for every current athlete at TCU. I hope fans across the nation take advantage of this great app and support collegiate athletes of their choice.”
According to Chapman, all NCAA-registered student-athletes in every sport are pre-loaded into the myNILPay app. When a fan enters a name into the app's portal and sends money to them, the respective student-athlete receives an email to their university account letting them know they've received a gift. Then, all the athlete has to do is click on the link, selects a method to receive payment, and collect their funding.
Basketball Hall of Famer and North Texas resident Nancy Lieberman is supporting her alma mater's (Old Dominion) female athletes, according to the company. Lieberman told Insider she "was barely scraping by financially" when she played at Old Dominion.
"When I got there, I was poor," Lieberman, who is on the myNILpay board, told Insider. "And when I left there, I was poor."
The app does include a fee for myNILpay to deliver funds, with athletes receiving 90% of the transaction and the company retaining 4%.
You can preview the app on Apple's app store here.
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