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Daily Brews: Michigan NIL collective Champions Circle becomes founding member of The Collective Association

Seven NIL collectives are forming the association.

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NCAA Football: Michigan at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Rules and regulations for the NIL space in college athletics continue to be challenged and changed. The status right now is very much in jeopardy with the government and the NCAA feuding over what is the correct way to approach sharing revenue with student-athletes.

To help combat this, and speak on behalf of the student-athletes in this battle, seven NIL collectives have come together to form The Collective Association. One of them includes the Michigan Wolverines’ own Champions Circle, which is run by Valiant Management Group. Here are the other six founding members:

  • Classic City Collective (Georgia)
  • Spyre Sports Group (Tennessee)
  • The Grove Collective (Ole Miss)
  • The Battle’s End (Florida State)
  • House of Victory (USC)
  • Happy Valley United (Penn State)

Champions Circle has had successful campaigns such as the One More Year fund, which helped players like Blake Corum, Cornelius Johnson, Trevor Keegan and Zak Zinter to return to the program for the 2023 season. They were also responsible for an NIL deal with the Michigan Army National Guard last offseason which saw 120 student-athletes get paid.

According to The Athletic, The Collective Association seeks to “advocate for student-athletes, share best practices and act as a unified voice to shape the development of the NIL market and beyond.”

In this era of mass confusion about what the stipulations are for NIL deals and revenue streams, The Collective Association hopes to provide some clarity. Expansion is possible in the future, and they would like to help create “a potential framework for how (NIL, the NCAA, and the government) can all operate together.” According to On3, the association hopes to start holding some of those conversations with NCAA president Charlie Baker and others in authority at the conference and institutional levels.

A massive issue they plan to solve is starting a certification process for agents representing student-athletes, and have a registry of them to provide to all parties involved. Another is keeping the “employee” tag away from student-athletes while finding a way to create a revenue-sharing model for athletes.

“It may take one year, three years, five years, 10 years, I don’t know. But I think it’s really clear that it doesn’t make sense for student-athletes not to have a piece of these massive revenue opportunities that are all currently going elsewhere,” Spencer Harris, the executive director of House of Victory told The Athletic. “We don’t have the perfect model today but we want to come together and work toward creating solutions toward that concept of revenue sharing.”

There is still a long way to go to solve the NIL issues across the college sports landscape, but there is no doubt it has been a net positive for student-athletes. Once a substantial set of rules are in place, it’s only going to continue to grow and improve. The Collective Association seems to be a step in the right direction, but there is quite an uphill climb for transparency and honesty to be in place across the NCAA.