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New 'Name, Image, Likeness' policy opens many doors for UT athletes to monetize

Spyre co-founder Hunter Baddour said it has made 300 deals for UT athletes, both men and women.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Since July 1, Tennessee athletes have been able to make money off their own personal brand while in college. It's because of the new Name, Image, Likeness policy that was adopted by the NCAA over the summer.

As the six-month mark approaches, some University of Tennessee athletes said they find the new NIL policy beneficial.

"I'm able to do a bunch of different things throughout my name," UT baseball player Trey Lipscomb said.

Each athlete can make money off of their name, image and likeness. Football, basketball, baseball, and soccer athletes said they are all taking advantage of the new rules.

"It's been a great time for myself and my teammates to get involved and be able to help some local businesses," UT Lady Vols soccer player Maria Nelson said.

UT football player Jackson Lampley said it has been great to have UT support the new NIL policy.

"It's really just having guys set themselves apart as their own brand and helping them maximize what they want to do with that," Lampley said.

Spyre is a sports-based agency in Knoxville working with professional athletes. The agency now works with UT athletes through NIL.

Spyre co-founder Hunter Baddour said it has made 300 deals for UT athletes, both men and women.

"Before if a player did any kind of deal, either monetary or in-kind, that would've affected their eligibility," Baddour said.

So, what does the NIL policy look like?

Each athlete can do different things in return for money or free products. This includes signing autographs, going to events, sponsoring a business or posting on social media.

"There's been a lot of different businesses involved so far and we are pleased with our progress," Baddour said.

Some athletes can make anywhere from $250 to $1,000. Other athletes who are year-long brand ambassadors can make $10,000 to $15,000.

Baddour said the way each university handles NIL deals could have an effect on future recruits. 

"Recruits are going to see that and want to be a part of it," Lampley said.

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