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REPORT: Texas A&M football players made $3.3 million in NIL deals last school year

What happened to $30 million?

In this photo illustration, 100 dollar bills seen displayed... Photo Illustration by Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We’ve seen a ton of reports about how much money college football players are making from NIL, most of it poorly sourced and ill-informed. But finally, we’ve gotten some numbers with some teeth. According to Travis Brown of The Eagle, Texas A&M athletes made more than $4 million in name, image and likeness (NIL) deals last year, including more than $3.3 million for football players alone.

These figures are according to university-tracked information obtained through the Texas Open Records Act. And if the numbers are to be believed, A&M was pretty far ahead of a certain school in Austin on the NIL front as well.

By comparison, Texas’ athletes earned more than $2,039,180 through the majority of the 2021-22 academic year, according to a report by the Austin American-Statesman. The Longhorn football team earned $879,447, with the largest single deal worth $60,000, according to the report. Texas softball athletes collected $295,790 and women’s swimming totaled $259,402.

The easy response to these figures is that not all of the NIL compensation is being reported, but as Travis notes in his article, state law requires that student athletes provide details of their NIL deals to the university compliance office. So if deals go unreported, they’re essentially no more within the rules than handing recruits a McDonald’s bag full of cash like the bagmen of old. And if you’re still having to skirt the rules, why bother with all of the contractual minutia of an NIL deal?

What will be really interesting is when these same figures come out for the 2022-23 school year, when all of the supposed megadeals given to recruits in the Aggies’ 2022 recruiting class will finally get proven true or false.