Kansas players should make money thanks to the NIL, potentially setting a model for future NCAA title-winning teams

Imagine a world where all national champions in men’s and women’s basketball – soccer too – celebrated their spoils in a way that made players money and allowed them to cash in on their accomplishments.

After all, you don’t have to imagine: this world is here.

Kansas men’s basketball is about to set the model for what all national title winners in the top three collegiate team sports can and are likely to do after each national championship game progresses. As was recently reported, Kansas players will soon embark on a statewide tour of publicity and celebration in light of the Jayhawks 2022 NCAA Tournament Title. Kansas has done things like this in the past with its outgoing veterans, but this time it’s different. This time all players can profit from their achievements, their names, their likenesses, their likenesses and their legendary local status as 2022 National Champions.

As they should.

All the players, all 18 of the Kansas squad, are scheduled to be there. Notably, this includes the most outstanding First Team All-American/Final Four player Ochai Agbaji, as well as Final Four hero David McCormack, future NBA Draft pick Christian Braun and returning potential starters DaJuan Harris Jr. and Jalen Wilson.

There’s even a website for this commemorative tour, complete with a countdown clock and this message: “Join us for a fun night filled with live silent auctions and autographs with all 18 players. barnstorming. Don’t miss the silent and live auctions taking place during the event and halftime. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to win some special KU player memorabilia Saturday, April 23, come cheer on your national champions. Rock Chalk !”

They will begin by visiting a high school in Wichita, Kansas. Memories will be signed. Pictures with Kansas players and goofy KU fans – young and old – will be taken. There will be a special VIP dinner, and players will also participate in a skills camp for children who attend. Fans will also be able to see some live-action basketball as KU players will play a scrimmage for fun.

Sounds like a dream experience after months and months of hard work that led to a cherished championship. Kansas players will revel in title glory, while Jayhawks fans will have the chance to experience something they will remember for the rest of their lives. Tickets cost between R$30 and R$125.

Arguably the best part: Kansas players should collectively receive 70% of ticket revenue from any of these events that end up happening in the next few weeks. Also, whatever Kansas championship equipment is sold, 100% of those profits will go back to the players. This is the Platonic ideal of NIL rights in action. It’s based on merit. Kansas won the national title, now its players can reap the benefits of their work by getting paid – and everything is permissible under the rules of name, image and likeness.

Everyone wins.

Kansas was also prepared for that. The school partnered with a company called 6th Man Strategies — which was started by former KU baseball player Matt Baty — in the fall of 2021. Kansas basketball is the biggest business in that state. There would be huge NIL opportunities, and Baty knew it. By virtue of winning the national title, Kansas players now have the opportunity to go out into the community, celebrate their title and receive a small cash bonus.

The NIL world has exploded with a host of individual money making opportunities. What Kansas is doing here is a twist: it’s for the whole team. A community experience. It’s a way for everyone from Agbaji and McCormack to walk-ons to capitalize on their achievements. A wonderful thing, and the most recent example that NIL rights for players enhance the college athlete experience.

This is just the beginning. The possibilities are expansive. Expect to see the Kansas title tour model become the norm for national champions for years to come; it would be a wasted opportunity otherwise. Cheering for a college sports team is all about pleasing yourself through the ups and downs of fandom. When a team wins a title, it elevates the community in many ways. Schools have always profited from championship equipment, commemorative memorabilia and the like. They still go.

Now the players have their share.

What if Alabama wins another football title in 2023? Sure, the list is much longer, but don’t you think an army of Alabama fans in that state wouldn’t happily show up and pay to shake hands, take pictures, and bid on CFP title game auction items? It is clear. The same goes for any other fanbase, and this is probably just the beginning. Creative minds will eventually find bigger and broader ways to garner community support and put a little money in players’ pockets after making school history.

Take your pick: UConn, Stanford or South Carolina women’s basketball; Clemson, Georgia or Ohio State Football; Duke or Kentucky or Gonzaga or North Carolina or whichever team ends up winning the 2023 men’s national basketball title. It doesn’t matter what state, what school or how it’s done: everyone wants to celebrate a championship, doing it in addition to having a parade. All title-winning schools could take advantage of that in the future just as Kansas is now. They would be fools if they didn’t.

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