Texas Tech and athletes ready for NIL deals following NCAA changes

Tyler Shough, Kevin McCullar and Marcus Santos-Silva signaled in the past few days that third parties interested in hiring a Big 12 athlete are welcome to reach out to them.

About half the states including Texas have passed measures that clear the way for college athletes to profit for the first time off their own name, image and likeness. The NCAA — its power superseded by state governments and with little choice but to go along — announced an interim policy last week, saying it won’t stand in the way of NIL activity. 

The first handful of Texas Tech players are ready to test the waters.

Tech senior associate athletics director Amy Heard said that fewer than 10 Tech athletes had reached out to run a business opportunity by her as of Thursday, but more will be on the way in the weeks, months and years to come.

NAA rule change:Texas Tech athletes announce deals in NIL era

Related:NCAA President Mark Emmert still ‘hopeful and optimistic’ Congress will pass NIL bill

Texas Tech forward Marcus Santos-Silva (14) was one of the first Red Raiders athletes to establish a simple, money-making venture after Texas state law and the NCAA allowed athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness. Santos-Silva and two other Tech athletes are on Cameo, an online platform that allows people to have celebrities tape video messages for an agreed-upon fee.

In February, Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt assigned Heard on a full-time basis to oversee Tech’s adaptation to name, image and likeness developments. 

The role Heard and a few other Tech athletics personnel have is to educate, to advise, to check that athletes’ business opportunities comply with state law and NCAA rules — and then stand back.

“The way the state structured the legislation,” Heard said, “the school can’t be involved in the actual transaction, like setting it up, managing it, aligning it, all those things.