On July 1, college sports changed forever.

New name, image, and likeness rules that went into effect on Thursday allow college athletes to make money off endorsement deals.

Tennessee Vols players didn’t waste any time taking advantage of the new rules. Shortly after midnight on July 1, players started lighting up social media with sponsored posts.

 

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College players getting paid is a sensitive topic. And while it’s important to remember that players still aren’t being paid to play, this is still a much-needed step in the right direction.

The only negative with players being allowed to make money off their name, image, and likeness is that it opens up players to a world of scams and bad deals.

I’m sure there will be quite a few folks who try to take advantage of college athletes, many of whom don’t have proper knowledge of how endorsement deals should work.

That’s why I think it’s extremely important that Tennessee works with their players closely to ensure they don’t enter into any detrimental deals.

UT has made it a point to offer some courses on branding, but they should probably go a step further and offer independent counsel to athletes free of charge.

I think we’d all hate to see a college athlete enter into a contract/deal with someone that has an ulterior motive. Tennessee — and other programs around the country — needs to make sure it’s doing a good job of protecting its student-athletes.

Right now, this new age of NIL rules is the wild west where anything goes. It’s going to be an interesting first few months as we all enter uncharted territory.

Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports