Can walk-ons get NIL deals?

In other words, could a scholarship athlete who may be at risk of losing his/her scholarship get enough NIL money to make it work well enough financially to stay on the team as a PWO (if their desire to remain a Razorback is more important to them than getting more playing time elsewhere)?

Do the NIL rules make it possible for corporate “sponsors” to create a scenario where, say, all 15 players on a basketball roster (13 scholarship, 2 PWO’s) have their education paid for? And wouldn’t it be cool if the PWO slots are reserved for athletes who grew up dreaming about playing for the Hogs, who are great practice/attitude teammates, but just couldn’t crack the rotation?

I would chip in some bucks for that …


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I suspect that would be a violation (circumventing the scholarship limits with an NIL deal), but I have no direct knowledge of that. Kinda like the rule that you can’t sign a 350-pound D-lineman to a “swimming” scholarship to get around the 85 limit.

The answer appears to be YES as long as the athletes play, but there are currently no specifics on how much they have to play … here is an early example of using NIL for walk-ons:

I’ve thought about that in relation to baseball. I could see a coach telling a recruit, “I can only give you 0.5 scholarships but if you come here there are lots of NIL opportunities available.”

As for your direct question, I don’t see why not. The NIL belongs to the athlete. He can sell them for whatever he/she can get. The coach, school, & NCAA can’t tell them they can’t. If someone wants to use a walk-on or a preferred walk-on to advertise their product, they can do it.

Now as for Jeff’s observation about limitations on the number of people who can be on scholarship, I can see how that could be a problem for a team that’s reached its limit on scholarships. It’s possible the NCAA could decide that any athlete who gets an NIL deal counts toward the scholarship limit. I do not know that to be the case, but I could see it being so.

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Is there a limit to the number of walk-ons a team can have ?

Denying a walk-on NIL deal opportunities when scholarship athletes are not has lawsuit written all over it. In theory the NIL is between a business and the individual, not the school and the individual.

The hidden title on this thread should have been, “can we get CV an NIL deal and use his scholarship for somebody better,” lol.



When the NIL as we know it came out, the first thing I thought of was “scholarship limits are dead.”

If the Alabama QB is getting $1,000,000 or more, why does he even need to be on scholarship? Let him be a “walk on” (arrange for his sponsors to give him an extra $25,000 or whatever, if they are giving him $1,000,000 what is an extra $25,000 or $30,000?). That leaves and extra spot for another lineman, or whatever. The same for the star wide receiver, etc.

The only limit I see is that (I think) you are limited to 105 (in football) who can go through practice before school starts. No way key players are not going to be in that 105.

The 350 lb “swimmer” was dealt with by saying "IF you are on scholarship, and you play football, you must have a football scholarship. These guys wouldn’t be on scholarship That rule won’t help.

Similarly, I think I remember cases where a coaches son or nephew, etc. was a player and a contributor, but he was not on scholarship (to open up a slot for someone else), because the coach COULD pay his way to school without breaking the rules. That never caused any issue because it was by definition a rare thing. Not a problem. NIL? THAT is a problem.

The only way to deal with this, that I see, if for the NCAA to limit (or lower the limit) the number of players who can be on the team. Still might not solve everything.

Here’s one for you…

Danyelle Musselman sets up her own business. She signs an NIL deal with a walk-on that is equivalent to what a scholarship player receives for tuition/room/board/meals, etc. She could pay for it with Coach’s earnings without even caring about making any revenue for her business.

That and I doubt there’s many people lining up to sign a walk on to a $15-20K per year NIL deal. Would be a hard sell with regards to ROI. I am actually working on a NIL deal with some guys and that would be a large number for a player that probably wont see the floor.

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If the “walk on” in question is a all star, but giving up his scholarship, there could be a lot of people willing.

That’s fair, I was just going off the OP and thought she was referring to a walk on who went on scholarship and would be asked to switch back to PWO.

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Danyelle can’t give money to players. Violation.

Walkons can sign Nil deals. There are size limits on rosters.

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