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  • We read IRS 990s for over 40 NIL Collectives. Here's what we learned:

We read IRS 990s for over 40 NIL Collectives. Here's what we learned:

Who is raising money, how they're spending it, and what it actually means:

Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

When we talk about the finances of college athletic departments, we have a shared data set. Every public school in D-I and D-II has to file an itemized financial report to the NCAA. These reports show how much revenue each school earns from ticket sales, parking fees and game guarantees, what they spend on coaches’ and administrator salaries, and more.

The data has real limitations, but whether you get it from the Knight-Newhouse Database, USA TODAY, Sportico or our own FOIA Directory, you are at least operating under some shared baseline figures. There are even some figures out there, thanks to the EADA database, for private colleges.

But when we’re talking about NIL, that doesn’t really exist. A few entities, like Opendorse and SANIL, have shared some aggregate NIL data across collectives or deal flow that they have access to, but each individual company only has access to a portion of marketplace activity. NIL collectives are not subject to open records requests, nor are they under any obligation to share marketplace data with the public.

That creates a world rife with speculation, rough guestimates, and sometimes, out-and-out lying.

But while NIL collectives aren’t subject to the same open records obligations that public athletic departments have, many still leave behind clues about their operation. Dozens of NIL collectives operate as 501c3 charities…which means they need to file disclosure forms with the IRS.

Those forms are called 990s, and anybody can look them up.

We examined 40 of those documents from FY22, from collectives large and small. Here’s what we’ve learned:

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