Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.

I think it's fair to say that health-wise, this country is in a much better place than it was last summer. But COVID hasn't completely vanished from the earth. COVID cases have doubled in the United States over the last few weeks, as lagging vaccination rates, a more contagious Delta variant, and an increase in larger gatherings. As much as we wish this wasn't the case, I think it's safe to assume that COVID is going to be a factor, on some level, for this Fall athletic season.

To better understand how colleges should approach not just COVID, but other public health challenges relating to athletics, we brought in an expert in our latest edition of Going For Two. Bryan and I spoke to Dr Kathleen Bachynski, a public health professor at Muhlenberg College and the author of The History of Youth Football and the Origins of a Public Health Crisis.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why NC State's baseball team was prohibited from playing in the College World Series, and whether this decision made sense from a public health perspective.
  • How college programs and conferences can encourage athletes to get vaccinated without defaulting to shame or politically-oriented approaches.
  • What developments over the last year have actually been encouraging, from a college athlete health perspective.
  • Whether she believes that the federal government needs to be involved in efforts to improve college athlete health outcomes, or if improvement can come primarily from schools.
  • Why evaluating the athlete health risks with quarantine can be more complicated than you think
  • and more:

I thought this was a really thoughtful conversation, and I learned quite a bit. I think you might enjoy it too.

You can find Going For Two wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts or Spotify. If you enjoy the podcast, it sure would be great if you left it a nice rating or review, so others could find it too.


Speaking of podcasts, I chatted with my friend Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic yesterday on her show, POWER AUER. We talked about what I've learned so far actually working with athletes on NIL deals, where the problems (and opportunities) in this marketplace are, what various stakeholders need to know, and more.

I also filed my first freelance story for Front Office Sports, which should publish today. I wrote this week's College Sports Newsletter there, which I believe will publish at Noon EST, on the perils of colleges trying to enforce the relatively modest NIL guardrails already on the books. You can subscribe to that newsletter, for free, right here.

Speaking of NIL, I'm happy to share that we're working with several athletes right now to help promote Extra Points. The full roster, as of right now, includes:

Parker Ball, Tennessee Football

Eric Miller, Purdue Football

Matthew Coghlin, Michigan State Football

Julian Ross, Ohio University Football

Abby Lynch, University of Illinois Women's Soccer

and recently, two new national champions:

Ryan Humphries, Sam Houston State Football

Anna Camp-Bennett, BYU Women's Track (Anna's discount code is 'run4her')

Purchasing an Extra Points subscription using any of these discount codes will not only save you money and support Extra Points, but also gives that particular athlete a commission.

I am in talks to finalize arrangements with a few more athletes, and then I think I'll wait a few weeks before starting another, larger campaign, as we head closer to the Fall sports season. I'll share another post about what I've learned from this marketplace later in July.


Speaking of NIL, I'd like to highlight something cool happening at Ohio State.

Harry Miller, an Ohio State football player, has set up an online store full of clothing items with his unique logo. But instead of pocketing the money for himself, 100% of the profits from this enterprise will go to his non-profit,  "M4N, to provide education, food, medicine, physical therapy and discipleship for the kids at our school in Los Brasiles, Nicaragua."

My old hometown paper, the Columbus Dispatch, has a deeper write-up on the project here. If you'd like to support M4N's work, and get a cool shirt, you can do so here.

Photo provided by Harry Miller

I'm excited for what NIL will mean for athletes as they explore commercial and professional opportunities. But I think it will also be exciting to see what sorts of non-profit and charity work they embrace as well.


This edition of the Extra Points newsletter is also supported by MarketPryce.

College athletes across the country can finally make money from their name, image & likeness.

But, now that they can make money from endorsement deals, the question is, “How will they find companies to work with?” That's where MarketPryce comes in.

MarketPryce is a two-sided marketplace that is already empowering professional athletes to connect with brands to close marketing deals. They’ve already seen 1,000 deals flow through their platform since their launch earlier this year.

MarketPryce is not only accessible to pro athletes -- they have student athlete membership available now. MarketPryce provides a safe marketplace which empowers student athletes to connect directly with vetted companies (both local + national) who are looking for athlete ambassadors.

Click here to learn more about MarketPryce!


Thanks again for supporting Extra Points. If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with your friends, or better yet, subscribe.

Questions about sponsoring future Extra Points newsletters can be sent to sales@ExtraPointsMB.com. For newsletter feedback, story ideas, angry missives, hot tips and more, I'm at Matt@extrapointsmb.com, or @MattBrownEP on Twitter and Instagram.