The announcements started to roll in immediately on Thursday morning. They weren't transfer portal announcements, or commitments and decommitments you see across college athletics.
They were endorsement deal announcements as Louisiana is officially set to pass NIL legislation on July 1, allowing LSU athletes to capitalize on their name, image and likeness. It's the last piece of the puzzle to become official as LSU had adopted its own passing of NIL policies before governor John Bel Edwards makes it official this afternoon. Earlier this week, the NCAA lifted restrictions on athletes that previously prevented them from making money on their name, image and likeness.
Some of LSU's most profitable athletes in terms of endorsement deals and social media recognition have announced partnerships with local food chains and other companies. Cornerback Derek Stingley announced a Walk-On's endorsement, quarterback Myles Brennan has partnered with Smoothie King and Small Sliders while wide receivers Kayshon Boutte, Jontre Kirklin and Deion Smith as well as offensive lineman Austin Deculus have teamed up with Yoke gaming.
Quarterback Garrett Nussmeier will be doing story shoutouts on his Instagram page for $20-50 a piece while several other players have signed up with a Yoke sponsorship.
Baseball's Cade Beloso will be sponsoring his family's company, Hot Rods Creole while gymnast Olivia Dunne, who has nearly four million social media followers, is expected to be among the highest paid college athletes in the country. These are just a few of the many ways athletes will earn money.
While these partnerships were announced early in the morning on July 1, nothing could be signed until Bel Edwards made it official on the state level. There is still plenty that needs to be sorted out on what is and isn't allowed in terms of marketing and endorsements.
For example, in an ESPN article earlier this week, LSU athletics chief operating officer Stephanie Rempe equated NIL with "building an airplane while you're flying." In the piece, Louisiana state law is expected to prohibit athletes from endorsing alcohol like brands such as Budweiser or Dos Equis. But the details behind that include, could an athlete endorse a liquor store or Baton Rouge bar? Those decisions are left in the hands of each school.
In other words, while LSU is one of the most prepared schools in pushing NIL forward, a lot of unknown situations will keep the administration on its toes as it learns more and more about what is and isn't allowed. For many months it was believed that the NCAA or Congress would adopt nationwide rules for all schools but passing NIL federal law proved to be an impossible task, leaving the states and individual schools to hash out the details instead.
Athletes will have to work closer than ever with their athletic departments about what is and isn't allowed under their rules and regulations. But in the meantime, LSU athletes announcing endorsement deals will become the new norm.
In a multi billion dollar industry of college athletics, for the first time the student-athlete will be able to earn money on their name.