Sports Court NIL Newsletter | Ignite No More?

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Today’s Case

NBA to reassess G League Ignite due to NIL

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (Photo Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

NBA commissioner Adam Silver called into question the future of the G League Ignite, saying that the introduction of NIL into the college basketball landscape has diminished the need for the league to potentially continue the program.

The league touted it as a chance to give players significant money before they could be eligible to make millions by being drafted into the league, and the program landed several high-level prospects over the past few years as a result. But the introduction of NIL has allowed for college players to make significant money while going to school and reduced the need for the NBA to create such a feeder program into the league.

Silver: "I think we are in the process of reassessing Team Ignite. Because now some of those same players who didn't want to be one-and-done players because they felt it was unfair and they wanted the ability not just to earn a living playing basketball but to do commercial deals that weren't available to them at college, to hire professional agents, an opportunity that wasn't available to them at college, they now -- all of those same opportunities have become available to them.”

The Verdict

  • Props to Silver for recognizing the overlap

    • Since NIL fills a void for the players (athletes monetizing their name, image and likeness), there is a very real possibility that Ignite shuts down in the near future, since athletes can develop via the G League instead should they want to bypass college.

  • Will Overtime Elite feel the effects of this as well?

    • Similar to Ignite, OTE Academy runs a similar program that allows high-level men’s high school basketball players to earn an annual playing salary plus potential NIL money, or via a scholarship option where athletes don’t earn a salary but maintain NCAA eligibility shall they choose to attend college.

      • This is already causing issues, as OTE Academy brothers Matt and Ryan Bewley sued the NCAA in federal court after they were denied eligibility for receiving NIL money while competing for Overtime Elite Academy.

  • Difference in paydays

    • Ignite salaries start at $100,000 per season and go up to $500,000 for elite talent (not including NIL money).

      • This money may be sufficient enough for some players to skip college, while others may go the college route and generate significantly more money from collectives and NIL deals.

Caitlin Clark’s next NIL deal?

What’s the next big partnership for the all-time NCAA women’s basketball leading scorer? Check out this video for more!

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