We knew when we were planning our May cover story the conversation around Name, Image and Likeness wasn’t going away. In fact, it was already the topic people couldn’t stop talking about this spring.
We did not know that the head football coaches at Alabama and Texas A&M would get into a spat about who’s doing what, who isn’t, what is allowed and what isn’t with NIL the day before this issue shipped. And, honestly, the Nick Saban-Jimbo Fisher feud only helps underscore why we chose the story we did.
Most of what you hear about NIL deals with the top end. This school has a collective with $50 million it’s prepared to distribute. This quarterback has a six-figure deal. This is the future. This is the end. It’s all too much, too fast.
Perhaps both sides can agree on that last point.
But there’s another side to NIL, as Nebraska golfer Megan Whittaker shows in this month’s cover story, written by deputy editor Erin Sorensen. Whittaker, a senior from Elkhorn, Nebraska, is an ice cream connoisseur. When the Husker golf team travels, she’s sure to hit at least one ice cream spot to try out the local flavor. Well, actually, she always gets vanilla because she’s serious about having a fair way to compare each place.
Whittaker took that personal passion, found a local business, (402) Creamery, willing to participate and built her own NIL deal. Not only that, she figured out a way to include other Nebraska teams and athletes.
Pretty sweet deal. Not the sort of thing over which an opposing golf coach might start a war of words. Refreshing.
Also in this issue, Greg Smith marks the 50-year anniversary of Title IX, Steve Marik and Jacob Padilla offer roundups of baseball and volleyball respectively, Mike Babcock offers a remembrance of long-time Nebraska compliance director Al Papik and we share some of our best photos from Husker softball’s strong close to the 2022 regular season.
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Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.