NIL era officially begins at YSU

By Patrick Stout

Name, Image and Likeness rights have officially made their way to Youngstown State University. As of July 1, 2021, NIL rights will offer financial support for YSU student-athletes through partnerships.

NIL rights are when college athletes are allowed to receive financial compensation. NIL rights represent the use of a college athlete’s name, image and likeness through marketing and promotional endeavors.

Youngstown State University women’s basketball teammates Mady Aulbach and Paige Shy announced Feb. 6, 2022, on Twitter their NIL partnership with Sam’s Wedge Inn of Austintown.

“My partnership with Sam’s Wedge Inn has helped relieve the stress of having to worry about getting a job and trying to balance school, basketball and a job all at the same time,” said Aulbach, the team’s point guard and YSU junior.

“Being able to play the sport I love and get paid for it is just a dream come true and it is possible thanks to my partnership with Sam’s Wedge Inn,” said Shy, the team’s small forward and YSU junior.

Aulbach and Shy are not alone, as they’re two of the many YSU athletes who are taking advantage of NIL rights partnership opportunities.

Youngstown State football running back Jaleel McLaughlin signed an NIL agreement with J-Arnold Wealth & Management Company on Sep. 23, 2021. McLaughlin was the first YSU football player to partner for NIL rights agreement.

“Playing in the NFL or another professional football league is not guaranteed. Being able to have an NIL partnership provides with the support I earn with the hard work I put on the field,” Jaleel McLaughlin, the team’s running back and YSU senior, said.

There are currently 40-50 student-athletes who have been presented with NIL rights opportunities at YSU. With these numbers likely to grow in the upcoming years, there will be  more NIL rights partnerships among YSU student-athletes and businesses.

In this new era of college sports, Youngstown State University is prepared to lead its student-athletes to success. On the YSU Sports website, there is a YSU Name, Image and Likeness Resource Center for  student-athletes.

The whole page is dedicated for YSU student-athletes to better understand NIL rights and set up  athletes for success with NIL partnerships. YSU has also published the policies and guidelines on what athletes need to follow while agreeing to a NIL rights partnership.