After the Success of Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese, Stephen A. Smith’s Rant About NIL Might Displease the NCAA

After the resounding success and unprecedented record-setting women’s NCAA tournament, things are looking up for the next generation of athletes.

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese were at the forefront of it during the tournament and even during the WNBA draft.

Recently Angel Reese jerseys almost sold out within a week after Chicago Sky announced her new number.

Caitlin Clark too achieved this feat as Indiana Fever’s No. 22 was sold out within 10 days of the 2024 WNBA draft.

With so much success thanks to athletes, Stephen A. Smith also made an illuminating rant against the policies of the NCAA.

On the Earn Your Leisure episode on YouTube, Smith spoke about the evolution of college sports and appreciated the changes, noting the historical exploitation of athletes by the NCAA.

Revealing why many are leaving due to Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) complications and the transfer portal, he said, “

I was just saying the NCAA brought it on themselves because of how they were so if these athletes find a way now to get paid more power to them…

Stephen A. Smith explained how a vast majority of high-profile athletes are from desolate environments and backgrounds.

And there was a time when they weren’t allowed to fly home for the holidays and couldn’t even rent a car if they wanted to spend time with family.

Thanks to NIL and NIL collectives, the players are able to get the endorsement and valuation that they deserve.

The NIL collectives consist of individuals or companies that often pool money.

They use these resources to create and bring paid endorsement opportunities to student-athletes through a variety of activities.

Because of the NIL deal, Caitlin Clark had a valuation of a whopping $3.1 million.

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese NIL deals

Angel Reese had a partnership with Reebok as soon as NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal became its President. Another high-profile partnership was with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s ZOA Energy.

Due to this her valuation of NIL deals was $1.8 million. Other notable companies like Goldman Sachs, Topps, Beats by Dre, Tampax, Airbnb, Amazon, and Playstation were part of the endorsement deal.

USA Today via Reuters

Caitlin Clark’s value puts her 4th in the On3’s NIL rankings. She had endorsements from Nike, Gatorade, and State Farm.

The sports drink brand is actively working with Clark as they have donated $22,000 to the Caitlin Clark Foundation.

Nike and Clark’s partnership came to a halt after her collegiate career ended, but now reports are confirming she has signed an eight-figure deal.

The deal also states that Clark will have her own line of signature shoes.

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