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Star QBs, basketball twins among college athletes to ink historic sponsorships

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Star QBs, basketball twins among college athletes to ink historic sponsorships
Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler was among the many college athletes to announce plans to profit off their name, image and likeness just after midnight Thursday. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

July 1 (UPI) -- College athletes around the United States started announcing historic endorsement deals at midnight and continued through Thursday after the NCAA gave permission for them to profit from their name, image and likeness.

Athletes stand to cash in on national exposure and drastically increase their benefits beyond scholarships to attend their respective schools moving forward. The move is expected to alter the landscape of college athletics.

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Antwan Owens, a defensive end at Jackson State, was one of the first athletes to announce a sponsorship. He signed a deal with hair product business 3 Kings Grooming, which held a midnight ceremony to announce the endorsement. Owens announced the pact through Sports Illustrated.

Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler -- a pre-season Heisman Trophy favorite -- was among the most high-profile athletes who announced plans to use his name, image and likeness for profit.

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"We as players must use our platform and this new name, image and likeness opportunity to do good in the world," Rattler wrote on social media.

"I will donate a part of any earnings I receive to help underserved people and underserved communities. The time is now."

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Auburn's Bo Nix, Miami's D'Eriq King, Florida State's McKenzie Milton are among the quarterbacks who announced endorsement deals. Thousands of other athletes plan to profit from personalized trademarks, autographs and sponsorship deals.

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The endorsements come from restaurants, bars, video game apps, clothing stores, moving companies and more.

Iowa men's basketball player Jordan Bohannon announced that he signed an endorsement deal with a fireworks store in Windsor Heights, Iowa. Like many other college athletes, he also launched a personal merchandise website at midnight.

Marshall offensive lineman Will Ulmer announced plans to book and perform at live country music concerts this summer.

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Twin sisters Hanna and Haley Cavinder, who play basketball at Fresno State, agreed to endorsement deals with cell phone company Boost Mobile and vitamin and supplement company Six Star.

More than 3.3 million accounts follow the Cavinders on TikTok. More than 500,000 accounts follow the twins on Instagram.

"This is something we have been super passionate about for a couple years, making content and starting our own brand," Hanna told CBS This Morning on Thursday. "It is super exciting to see that you can obviously monetize it now."

Several college athletes continued to request companies to offer endorsement deals.

"If you need something promoted, I'm the guy to come to," Providence men's basketball player Nate Watson said on his Instagram story.

"I'll promote anything. I'll promote some socks. Just give me some money, bro."

Several schools announced plans to provide athletes with education about the process for using their name, image and likeness.

The NCAA board of directors approved a temporary policy Wednesday to allow the student-athletes to receive the compensation starting Thursday. The policy will remain in place until the development of new federal legislation or adoption of new NCAA rules.

The NCAA's decision impacts more than 460,000 athletes who participate in its three divisions. The NCAA still prohibits universities from direct payments to athletes.

Under the terms of the NCAA's new policy, college athletes also can earn money for social media posts, appearances and more.

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled two weeks ago that the NCAA couldn't cap education-related benefits. NCAA President Mark Emmert said Wednesday that the governing body for college athletics will continue to work with Congress to develop "a solution that will provide clarity on a national level" for student-athletes.

More than a dozen states were set to implement laws Thursday to make it illegal for universities to follow the NCAA's former guidelines, which prevented the athletes from profiting off their names, images and likeness.

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