College athletes who cash in on NIL deals, reminded to pay taxes

College athletes who cash in on NIL deals, reminded to pay taxes

With sponsorship worth millions suddenly available to young students, some universities are urging them to set aside enough of their new revenue to cover taxes. Does the message get through?

  • Norfolk State University’s Rayquan Smith has become “King of NIL” despite playing at small school.
  • Accountants say student-athletes should set up retirement accounts to shield earnings from taxes.
  • Some schools like University of Illinois teach student athletes financial literacy.

Rayquan Smith doesn’t play football or compete as a decathlete at a major college, but that hasn’t stopped the Norfolk State University dual-athlete from cashing in on sponsorships now allowed under a new policy that is changing the financial landscape in amateur sports.

Until last July, student-athletes could not profit if their name, image or likeness was used to sell products. Now, under the new NIL policy introduced in the summer of 2021, they can, and many learn that their newfound income comes with responsibilities than going to practice and marketing themselves.

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