Trevor Lawrence, Zion Williamson might have made over $500K under new NCAA NIL rule, report estimates

Earlier this week, the NCAA Board of Governors announced its support of proposed rule changes that would allow college athletes to be compensated for third-party endorsements, social media influence and personal appearances. The official rule changes are expected to be formulated by Oct. 31, 2020, and there would be a vote no later than Jan. 31, 2021.

With the proposed rule changes in mind, Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence worked with Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel to crunch numbers that show what Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and former Duke star Zion Williamson could have potentially earned:

On Lawrence:

“Blake Lawrence (CEO, Opendorse) crunched some numbers for Yahoo Sports in a phone interview on Wednesday and concluded Trevor Lawrence could make more than a half-million off of social media endorsements alone this season. Trevor Lawrence has nearly 500,000 Instagram followers and 81,000 Twitter followers. He came up with the monetary answer by calculating the engagement rate on each feed. For an Instagram post, Trevor Lawrence could make $16,000. For a Twitter post, it would be about $1,100 per post. He estimated 12 interested local businesses and 50 total posts.

On Williamson:

(For Zion’s value) multiple millions of dollars for certain. He’s the anomaly (AJ Maestas of Navigate Research estimates $2 million for a clear college one-and-done headed to a high-end NBA career.) This question is also complicated, as Zion Williamson’s experience has showed. As a once-a-decade type player, there’s no overstating Williamson’s value. The tricky question for the elite athletes will be when they should sign higher-profile deals.”

Lawrence and Williamson are two of the most prominent superstars that the college ranks have seen in recent years. Lawrence helped lead Clemson to a national championship in 2018 while Williamson was one of the biggest basketball stars at the collegiate level during the 2018-19 season when he played at Duke before declaring for the NBA Draft.

The one catch to the proposed rule changes would be that players are restricted from using conference or school logos in a promotional manner. 

“Throughout our efforts to enhance support for college athletes, the NCAA has relied upon considerable feedback from and the engagement of our members, including numerous student-athletes, from all three divisions,” Ohio State Chairman and president Michael V. Drake said in a recent interview. “Allowing promotions and third-party endorsements is uncharted territory.”

If the rule change ends up being approved in early 2021, it would take affect in the 2021-22 academic year for student athletes.

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