Could Caitlin Clark Be Iowa’s Top ‘NIL’ Athlete?
You no doubt have heard and seen plenty of talk this week about the new NCAA NIL rule that has college athletes excited. If you don't know what NIL stands for, it means Name, Image, and Likeness. The NCAA has basically said, no we're not going to pay college athletes, but we're going to let them earn some money by letting them cash in on their name. That has always seemed like a fair deal to me. And while Iowa men's players like Jason Bohannon have gotten a lot of attention, perhaps no Iowa player is better positioned to take advantage of this new NIL world than Iowa women's star Caitlin Clark.
As Iowa women's basketball fans got to see last year, Clark is a star. She was a five star recruit coming out of high school, and she helped guide the Hawkeye women to the Sweet 16 in this year's NCAA Tournament. She is fun to watch on the court and she has an attitude that endears her to fans. And oh yeah. She did all that as a freshman. Her rising star makes her a perfect candidate for NIL deals. Clark told the Iowa City Press Citizen yesterday that while she's willing to be the "guinea pig" for this team, she is in no hurry to sign on to just anything. Clark stated, "we've got plenty of time, this isn't going anywhere."
Of course, the more attention that comes Clark's way, the more NIL chances the entire Iowa women's team could possibly earn. But will this possible new found money change college sports? Undoubtedly, yes. But Iowa women's head coach Lisa Bluder says it won't change the core values of Iowa women's basketball. Bluder told the Press Citizen that it's still all about basketball and academics at Iowa. She added, "if you're not good in those two areas, nobody is going to want your name, image, or likeness anyway."
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