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NIL Collectives Pay Five Figures to Top College Athletes

Top Power 5 football players are earning $45,000 from their collectives, according to data from Student-Athlete NIL.

Top Power 5 and Big East basketball players earn an average of $75,000.

Football and basketball players at Power 5 (and for basketball, Big East) schools earn five figures annually from their school’s name, image, and likeness collectives, according to data from Student-Athlete NIL.

The data suggests that while players earn significant funds from their collectives, they may not be raking in the multi-million dollar offers rumored across the landscape. But it also shows that the best way for an athlete to cash in is to try their luck in the transfer portal.

The top half of Power 5 starters earn an average of $45,000, data released at the 2023 NIL Summit shows, while the bottom makes an average of $15,000. The top three players on Power 5 and Big East basketball teams earn an average of $75,000.

This doesn’t necessarily suggest that basketball players are earning more than football players overall — but rather that NIL collectives have to divide their resources more among football players, given their extensive rosters.

When athletes enter the transfer portal, NIL collectives offer significant funds — a potential NCAA violation that has gone mostly unregulated. The top 10 ranked players for both football and men’s basketball have received an average of $500,000 each. The top 300 football players receive $30,000, while the top 150 basketball players receive $50,000.

Student Athlete NIL compiled data from over 30 collectives and 1,000 athletes using its services. The company helps run collectives at some of the top sports programs in the country, including Penn State and Oklahoma.

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