Even if you’re the biggest cynic of the the name, image, likeness (NIL) rules inside of college football you have to appreciate just how amazing this moment is. On Thursday every single walk-on member of BYU’s football team got the surprise of the year.
“Built,” a protein bar company based out of American Fork, Utah stopped by the BYU facility and informed all 36 walk-on members of the team that the company were paying their tuition this year. It’s a move that wouldn’t have been possible without changes to NIL, which allows for a company like Built to bring on the Utah players as paid representatives of their company.
Now, it’s not like the image and likeness rights of walk-on players would be worth a tremendous amount compared to their coveted, scholarship teammates — but it takes the pressure off players in an otherwise draconian system which allows some players to get a full ride, and others pay the way through college WHILE making money for the school by playing.
Seeing the scholarship players absolutely lose it when the walk-ons get told they’re getting their tuition too is just about the best thing. Bravo, Built.