With a legendary football team and an ebbing men’s basketball and softball program in Tuscaloosa and more than a century of athletic fanaticism, it’s no wonder Alabama is among the most college sports-crazed states in the country.
Whether that dedication lends itself to monetary value for the college athletes themselves, on the other hand, is an experiment playing out in real time, as athletics programs and their supporters navigate the name, image and likeness (or NIL) space.
In Alabama, the Crimson Tide have been early supporters of NIL opportunities for athletes, with “Yea Alabama” being the main outlet, replacing “High Tide Traditions,” which was phased out by the university late last year.
Legendary Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban didn’t mince words when laying out the importance of being a frontrunner in NIL opportunities in a team statement about the new collective.
“I have always believed that our players should have the chance to benefit from their name, image and likeness,” Saban said in a statement. “Yea Alabama is an exciting new resource to help Crimson Tide student-athletes create value for themselves through a variety of NIL opportunities.
“The Alabama brand is one of the most powerful in sports, and our partnership with Yea Alabama provides exposure for our athletes that is unmatched in college athletics.”
The Crimson Tide’s NIL athlete valuation came in tied for second with the South Carolina Gamecocks, according to On3.com, buoying the state’s ranking as a whole.
With Student Athlete Day arriving April 6, BetAlabama.com, home to coverage of Alabama sports betting issues, decided to look at the current colleges who have utilized the NIL legislation to recruit their athletes and help them maximize their revenue potential while at the school.
Using On3.com, we were able to comb through the athletes who currently have the highest valuation in each sport, as well as the NIL collectives from each school who are bringing in the most revenue for student athletes.
Using an average ranking from those statistics, we were able to finalize the top 10 schools utilizing NIL. This research, however, is not exact due to lack of revenue details.
Schools That Have Best Utilized NIL
Where Alabama Ranks Nationally
Thanks to the Crimson Tide’s wholehearted embrace of NIL, it is ahead of the state’s other “Power Five” program, Auburn, which did not rank in the top 10 nationally.
Despite Auburn’s two sanctioned NIL collectives (On To Victory and Plains NIL Club), the school was not among the top six nationally in our athletes valuation ranking.
Alabama ranks second in the athletes valuation ranking with projected NBA lottery pick Brandon Miller as its top player with $862,000 in NIL valuation.
But SEC rival Tennessee takes the top spot on our overall ranking, with the top school collective program.
Miami ranks second overall thanks to two strong NIL athletes, one in women’s basketball with Haley Cavinder, and one in men’s basketball with Isaiah Wong. Wong helped lead the Hurricanes to the Final Four in Houston, while Cavinder’s team advanced to the Elite Eight.