Big Ten: Rutgers Athletics Announces Launch of NIL Program R Edge

Rutgers is the latest Big Ten program to announce a program allowing student-athletes to develop and make use of their platforms through name, image and likeness opportunities.
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Rutgers Athletics announced the launch of an educational platform in a partnership with Opendorse called R Edge. This program will serve to assist the Scarlet Knights with the development of personal brands related to name, image and likeness.

With it, student-athletes will have the unique opportunity to build, understand and protect their brands through education and marketing.

"The R Edge program is a major step in helping our student-athletes maximize their potential," Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs said in a release. "We make every effort to prepare our student-athletes for success in the classroom and in competition. In this fast-changing landscape, we also want to do everything we can to prepare them to take advantage of these new opportunities. The New York metropolitan area offers unique access and exposure for any student-athlete competing for the Scarlet Knights."

Student-athletes will use tools to analyze and their platforms and discover opportunities utilizing their value. The Opendorse partnership includes live consultation sessions, as well as on-demand access to a video series featuring experts on brand building, entrepreneurship, content creation, endorsements and financial literacy.

"Rutgers student-athletes have a unique opportunity in the new era of name, image and likeness rights," Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence said. "Their proximity to the New York metropolitan area and the commitment of the athletic department stand out as powerful factors to encourage success. This program will help Rutgers student-athletes make the most of this moment and prepare them to succeed long past their time on campus."

On Monday, the NCAA Division I Council voted on a policy that will allow college athletes to profit off their NIL. The Division I Board of Directors will meet to review and potentially approve the proposal on Wednesday.

If it passes, the NCAA will suspend amateurism rules before state NIL laws begin to take effect on July 1. The NCAA will also defer to schools to set guidelines in states where no NIL guidelines exist as of Thursday.

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