WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — It’s been six weeks since the NCAA changed its policy, allowing student-athletes to be paid for the use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). On Saturday, KSN News caught up with Wichita State Basketball players, Ricky Council IV, Morris Udeze and Dexter Dennis, as they were at Chicken N’ Pickle signing autographs and selling merchandise to eager fans.
“It expands and opens up a lot of opportunities for guys like me and guys like Morris, guys in college who just want to make money off of being themselves. I think it’s a great thing,” Dennis explained.
So far, both athletes and university athletic directors seem to like what they have seen.
“I’m very happy that they have an opportunity now to build their brand, and be compensated for it,” said WSU Athletic Director Darron Boatright.
This new freedom has allowed some athletes to even create their own brands.
“Just looking for the right design to fit my style,” Udeze explained. “Obviously, Dex has his triple D design, we’re all just scattered looking for the right design for each other.”
“It kind of just gives people a glimpse of who you are behind the scenes and I think a lot of fans don’t really get to see us a lot and get to hang and converse with us a lot,” Dennis added.
While Shockers’ hoop stars are being able to make a profit off of their image, so are other athletes for less profitable and well-known sports.
“Some of these other young people and students are getting much-deserved recognition as well and I hope that continues,” said Boatright.
A couple of hours north in Lawrence, Kansas Athletic Director Travis Goff is navigating this new landscape while also trying to get his footing just a couple of months into his new job.
“So far so good,” said Goff. “We’ve had an interest in our student-athletes and everything has been executed well so it’s gone off real positively so far.”