College athletes support All Vote No Play through NIL collectives
The 2022 midterm elections will take place Tuesday and athletes from nine Division I schools will support the voting initiative All Vote No Play by volunteering on Election Day.
In 2020, longtime men’s basketball coach Eric Reveno, who was then an assistant at Georgia Tech and who now works at Oregon State, started All Vote No Play. The mission of the initiative is to give athletes election day off from competition and practice so that they can vote and volunteer. All Vote No Play’s website says the initiative’s playbook offers “a wide range of free, nonpartisan ‘civic drills’ to help your team learn, engage, gather, and vote.” Now, athletes are using NIL to get involved with the voting initiative.
Student-Athlete NIL (SANIL), an agency that powers NIL collectives across the country, helped facilitate the volunteer opportunities for Bryant, Hofstra, Indiana State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Robert Morris and Rutgers men’s basketball players, plus Creighton and Penn State women’s volleyball players.
Those teams’ rosters have a combined 158 players, making this one of the largest NIL-related initiatives to date. The phrase NIL collective is a catch-all term for various organizations, ranging from nonprofits to marketing agencies, that help facilitate NIL opportunities for athletes.
On Election Day, the athletes will distribute coffee and donuts to voters. They will also share All Vote No Play graphics on social media.
The NIL collectives that SANIL powers include Tupper’s Kennel at Bryant, Heart Mind Soul at Creighton, Irish United at Notre Dame, Crimson and Cream at Oklahoma and Success With Honor at Penn State, among others.
‘Leveraging NIL to incentivize others’ to vote
All Vote No Play’s website says more than 1,100 coaches signed the All Vote No Play pledge in 2020. It received support from the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
In September 2020, the NCAA Division I Council announced that athletes won’t practice or compete on the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 every year. The Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee proposed legislation to promote athletes’ participation in civic engagement.
All Vote No Play’s website cites data from an NCAA survey from 2020 that found 75% of athletes wanted more opportunities for civic engagement.
“Student-athletes have a tremendous platform in their communities to drive awareness of important issues,” Bryant men’s basketball coach Jared Grasso said in a statement. “That’s why it’s great to see our athletes not only performing their civic duty to vote, but also leveraging NIL to incentivize others who look up to them to engage in the same.”