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There are lots of reasons why writing about NIL can be a major challenge. After all, there is no single "NIL market", getting accurate and reliable data is a major challenge, and athletes have unequal access to resources, education and representation.
There is certainly one kind of experience that exists for Heisman hopefuls, NBA lottery picks, or Olympic athletes with hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers.
But those aren't the typical college athletes. Across even just D-I, there are a lot more schools like a Saint Louis or Dayton or La Salle than there are schools like Ohio State or Texas. Most of the athletes at those other schools have a few thousand followers on social media, some loyal fans back in their hometowns, and the support of their campus community. That's real, and that's meaningful, but it's not the same thing that exists for Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud.
So what are those other athletes doing for NIL? What opportunities exist for them? What are their schools and programs actually doing?
It's a good question. So I called up a bunch of folks in and around the Atlantic 10 to find out.