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What is an NIL deal? Exploring Kentucky’s recent deal with Morgan & Morgan and athletes involved


The Kentucky Wildcats have continued to pile up their NIL deals throughout the 2022-23 season. After a shaky start to the year, Kentucky has been surging at the right time and is looking like a team that can make some noise in March Madness.


After an impressive road win against the Florida Gators, head coach John Calipari revealed that the Wildcats have a new set of NIL deals. Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) has become a way in which collegiate athletes are allowed to earn financial compensation.


"The development of NIL deals has become a game-changing installment for collegiate athletes. If a college athlete is living in a state in which the NIL ruling has been approved, they can profit from their name, image or likeness. Even if state law doesn't allow NIL deals, the school can come up with a policy for specific athletes to follow. "


Players such as Oscar Tshiebwe have received NIL deals this year. The latest installment has seen the entire roster come to an agreement with a national advertiser. Two specific players also agreed to other NIL deals.


Forward Jacob Toppin has received an individual campaign with AT&T. It's also been reported that freshman wing Chris Livingston has signed with Beats by Dre.


How does NIL work in NCAA and how much can an athlete earn from it?


On July 1, 2021, the NCAA announced that a policy would go into effect in which incoming and current student athletes would have the opportunity to earn money from various NIL deals.


NIL deals can vary from a wide range of salary when it comes to compensation for collegiate athletes. According to On3.com, the Kentucky Wildcats players have started to pile it up when it comes to NIL deals throughout the 2022-23 season.


The average NIL deal can pay a student athlete anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. Although it’s not uncommon for that total to be much higher. For example, Kentucky forward Jacob Toppin has started to accumulate multiple NIL deals this year. As of On3.com, Toppin currently has an NIL evaluation of $105,000.


These events can come from a number of different marketing strategies. This can include autograph signings, endorsements of products, social media posts, interactions, and more. While there might be some confusion, this doesn’t mean that schools can now pay their players directly. NIL is basically considered a workaround for athletes to receive financial compensation without technically being considered professional athletes.


Kentucky Wildcats looking to build off recent impressive stretch


The Kentucky Wildcats found themselves trending in the wrong direction at one point in the 2022-23 season. After a home loss to South Carolina on January 10th, the Wildcats were at a disappointing 10-6 on the season.


The season looked to be on the brink of embarrassment, as Kentucky wasn’t playing at the potential that many expected coming into the year. That loss proved to be a wakeup call for the Wildcats.


Kentucky will go on to win six of its next seven games. Following that impressive stretch, the Wildcats went on to rattle off five wins in their next seven games. That included two impressive wins against the top-10 ranked Tennessee Volunteers and a recent impressive win against the Florida Gators.


The turnaround for the Wildcats has been impressive. After once finding themselves at 10-6, Kentucky is now at 19-9 and in the midst of a three-game winning streak. The Wildcats will look to make it four in a row as they are set to take on the Auburn Tigers this Saturday.

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