The latest on the allegations made against Velveteen Dream

Aside from the statement issued on April 24, Velveteen Dream (real name Patrick Clark) has not said anything else on the allegations levied against him.

As first noted last week, someone claiming to be 17 years old said that they were sent a nude photo of Dream. The photo was also allegedly sent to this person’s friends who are 15 and 16 years old.

The statement issued by Dream confirms that the nude photo is real but he claims that it was sent without his consent. The person making the allegations said they would take the evidence (apparently there’s more) to the police. There is no word on the status of police involvement.

Dave Meltzer noted in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the phone number that the photo was sent from was said by some to be Dream’s actual phone number with the area code from his hometown. There was also a recording that sounded a lot like him.

Meltzer wrote, “What was authentic is the photos were real, the phone number being sent from was said by some to be his phone number (the area code was from where he was from), and there was a voice recording from one of them with what appeared to be his voice. Clark pretty much said it was his naked photo but that he never sent the photo to those people.”

You can click here to see screenshots of the allegations and to hear the audio recording of someone who sounds like Dream asking, “what school do you go to?”

What will be interesting to see is how WWE handles the situation. They have not commented on the allegations but Dream is scheduled to be on the loaded NXT card next Wednesday night where he is scheduled to challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Championship.

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David Starr Sees WWE's Layoffs As An Unanswered Wakeup Call

No matter who you are, if you watch WWE, you were likely affected by at least one of the recent releases. From Rusev to Zack Ryder and stretching all the way back to The Revival, WWE has cast off a lot of cult favorites amidst a difficult time for all of us. For independent firebrand David Starr, those layoffs aren’t just a tragedy, they’re an injustice. Known as a rare voice for unionization in wrestling, David told DailyDDT that WWE’s firings are hurting everyone.

The people that are still there are dealing with, what they say, they’re dealing with survivor’s guilt. Everybody there just seems really sad. They seem sad. They’re not angry, they’re sad. Everyone is just really sad, and they’re also nervous. Everyone is nervous. Nobody knows when it’s over. Nobody knows if it’s done.

As seen by today’s release of Curtis Axel, he’s certainly not wrong. But David understands how hard it is to speak up when you’re ingrained in a system like World Wrestling Entertainment and see an empty indie scene due to the current pandemic. “It’s hard to say you’re disappointed they don’t come out and publicly speak out in favor of their peers and workers. That would be huge, and it’s really easy to say that, but again we have to take into account the difficulty of taking that first step.”

Still, David says that it’s a necessary step in need of a leader and not the type of locker room leaders he’s argued with in the past. “I think that if you’re gonna be a leader, it’s just my opinion, leadership isn’t defending your bosses. It isn’t defending the powerful. Leadership is defending the weak. They should be making sure that every single person is taken care of as opposed to making sure that the boss is happy with you being on top.”

RELATED: Curtis Axel Released By WWE

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Sports Business : Covid 19 leads to mayhem in Sports media rights market

These are really bad times for the global sports market. The impact of Covid19 is such that by the day deals, relationships, commercial contracts and commitments are falling by way-side. Terminations, disputes, disagreements are gradually becoming a norm. Biggest of the sporting leagues have got into a situation where their long term media partners are either terminating or contemplating termination of their agreements.

France’s Ligue 1 cancelled, Canal Plus decides to terminate media rights agreement

Canal Plus, the French pay-television broadcaster, has informed France’s Professional Football League (LFP) that it is terminating its media-rights agreement following the decision to end the 2019-20 Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons.

The Vivendi-owned broadcaster has acted swiftly after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told the French Parliament on Tuesday that the current seasons of professional sports, including football, would not be able to resume because of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Canal Plus informed the LFP this morning, reports L’Équipe, and will not be making any more rights fee payments.

Canal Plus and fellow domestic rights-holder beIN Sports, the pay-television broadcaster, last week agreed to pay reduced terms for the French league matches already played, but were awaiting clarity over the structure and timing of the rest of the season before making any further payments.

Canal Plus paid around €37m ($40.4m) as part of its settlement but, it is claimed, insisted on a clause that it would make no additional payment if the 2019-20 season did not resume.

Discovery contemplating terminating Bundesliga agreement

International media group Discovery is seeking to terminate its media-rights contract with the German Football League (DFL), utilising a reported ‘special termination’ clause.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that the clause can be used in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, such as the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic.

It is thought that the DFL is considering legal action against the move by Discovery, which has showcased the Bundesliga matches on Eurosport.

Discovery acquired a package of top-tier Bundesliga rights in a four-season deal, from 2017-18 to 2020-21. Rights included: exclusive live rights to 40 Bundesliga matches per season; non-exclusive rights to the German Super Cup; exclusive live rights to two promotion/relegation matches between Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga; and two non-exclusive live matches to the 2. Bundesliga and 3. Liga promotion/relegation matches.

The media group then sublicensed all its rights on to DAZN, the OTT streaming service, in August last year, in a deal covering the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. The wide-ranging agreement also included DAZN distributing the Eurosport 1 and 2 channels on its platforms in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain.

A date of May 9 was initially touted as when the Bundesliga could restart, but this is looking more unlikely, with reports suggesting this will put back by at least a week. A decision on the restart was expected on April 30th if May 9 was possible but nothing was officially announced.

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NFL draft losers: Jones among studs to take hit

For the Fantasy Winners version, go here.

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

I’m a huge Jones fan who considers him one of the five best real-life running backs (despite not being a great blocker), but he’s also an obvious candidate for major regression and someone who’s being taken too high in fantasy drafts (after being perennially underrated). It’s never a great bet to bank on outlier touchdown seasons like Jones’ 19 last year, and it’s especially the case considering he played just 60% of Green Bay’s snaps even with Jamaal Williams getting hurt. The Packers then drafted AJ Dillon in the second round - a Derrick Henry type who at minimum is immediately a goal-line threat. Volume is king in fantasy football, and 14 backs had more carries than Jones last year despite him staying healthy for once (he also has an extensive injury history).

[Create or join a 2020 Yahoo Fantasy Football League for free today] 

Put differently, Jones ranked No. 18 in Opportunity Share (the percentage of total team running back carries plus targets) last season under ideal circumstances and without a second-round RB with elite measurables who averaged the fifth-most rushing yards in college in the last 20 years. Over the second half of last season, Jones recorded just 15 catches, and favorable game scripts are tough to count on repeating, especially with teams that just played deep into the season, are due for natural regression and now have a first-place schedule (think the team version of “The Madden Curse”). It’s becoming clearer Matt LaFleur is a shaky coach (although credit is due for now possessing an ARod + JLo quarterbacks room), and we won’t even get into if an unhappy and near 37-year-old Aaron Rodgers goes down. I have Jonathan Taylor ranked ahead of Jones, which is apparently a hot take.

Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens

Similar to Jones, Ingram is entering a contract year and saw his team spend an early pick on running back after coming off a year that screams TD regression (he scored five receiving touchdowns on 14 targets over the last six games). Unlike Jones, Ingram is on the wrong side of 30, and J.K. Dobbins is an even bigger threat who was taken in the mid-second round after leading the nation in Yards Created per attempt. Justice Hill and Gus Edwards both deserve downgrades as well, as this is one of the most crowded backfields in football. While Lamar Jackson and the Ravens can’t be expected to match last year’s point totals, they should remain plenty productive on the ground, but fantasy managers are likely going to be frustrated with the committee. Dobbins over Ingram at ADP seems like an easy call.  

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts

He’s about to become a free agent in 2021, PFF graded him 56th out of 57 running backs in blocking last season (and as one of the worst receiving RBs) and just watched Indy draft his replacement in stud Jonathan Taylor. Mack was previously ranked highly because of the Colts’ desirable situation, so he’s still on the radar given Taylor’s fumbling history, but I buried him outside my top-45 RBs (he also has a long injury history), and apparently that’s not on par with the market. Do not draft Marlon Mack ahead of Jonathan Taylor.

Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions

Johnson has shown flashes but has also proven impossible to trust to stay healthy, and he’s now going to take a backseat to D’Andre Swift, whom the Lions grabbed at pick #35. It’s too bad Detroit looks like a committee situation, because Matthew Stafford was playing at another level (8.6 YPA) before getting injured last season (and with T.J. Hockenson still in infancy), revealing serious upside for Detroit’s 2020 offense.

Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

This breaks my heart, as there’s little doubt in my mind Williams was about to turn in an RB1 type fantasy season before the draft, but after the Chiefs selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire in round one, he’s just a flex option (albeit with the most upside of any backup RB). At least Williams is fresh, as the 28-year-old still has fewer than 300 career carries.

Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys  

It should be noted both Cooper and Gallup ranked top-10 in yards per route run last season, so they are less reliant on volume than other wideouts, but their fantasy values decreased when the Cowboys stole CeeDee Lamb at pick No. 17. Randall Cobb and his 83 targets are gone, and rookie receivers should have a tougher time this season with the lack of prep work thanks to the unusual circumstances, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in Dallas (Blake Jarwin is another one, as he’s a big upgrade over Jason Witten). Lamb is a legit prospect who’s going to eat, so while his addition helps make Dak Prescott a real MVP candidate, it’s also a fantasy hit to Gallup and Cooper (who’s oddly averaged just 42.5 yards on the road over the last two seasons).

Cowboys receivers Amari Cooper (19) and Michael Gallup (13) are the top two receiving options in Dallas, but things are a lot more crowded coming of the NFL draft. (Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

I had Sutton ranked as a WR1 after he finished top-five in WOPR as a sophomore, but it’s doubtful he finishes top-10 in target share again after the Broncos spent the No. 15 pick on Jerry Jeudy. Denver then selected another wideout in Round 2 (K.J. Hamler), and Noah Fant is another absolute alpha who just posted one of the best YPT ever by a rookie tight end and is also going to demand looks. And then there’s Drew Lock, who should be projected to provide somewhere around bottom-five quarterback play this season. I like Sutton the player a lot more than his situation.

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

His ADP doesn’t match the downgrade in QBs he suffered this offseason. Philip Rivers threw some awful picks last year and is in clear decline, but he also got 7.8 YPA and locked onto Allen. The Chargers have plenty of options to throw to with Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler, and Mike Williams, the latter of which is a red-zone beast who saw the sixth-most end-zone targets last year (Allen hasn’t scored more than six TDs since his rookie year in 2013). Most importantly, Justin Herbert simply looks like he’s going to be one of the league’s most inaccurate quarterbacks, with a sub-50% on-target rate on deep throws, 25% when scrambling and 18.1% off-target rate to open receivers. PFF also graded Herbert fifth-worst among qualified QBs on negative throws over the past two seasons. At Allen’s ADP, I’d rather draft a receiver not approaching 30 and without bottom-shelf QB play.

[2020 Draft Rankings: Overall | QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DST | Kickers]

Henry Ruggs, Las Vegas Raiders

While I appreciate the Raiders keeping Al Davis’ “speed kills” spirit alive, this is a poor landing spot for the fast receiver. While not quite a Darrius Heyward-Bey level reach, it was still surprising to see Ruggs drafted ahead of Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb, and especially by a team that employs a quarterback who averaged the fewest intended air yards each of the past two seasons and ranked last in Aggressiveness last year (minimum 200 attempts). Ruggs’ skinnier frame and modest targets were already red flags, but now joining the dysfunctional Raiders franchise that might be the least equipped to take advantage of his skills (even during a normal offseason), sadly the safe bet is to fade Ruggs’ career (although I’m buying Hunter Renfrow, who quietly finished 11th in yards per route run as a rookie last year).

Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars

Turns out, winning the Biletnikoff Award and Nick Foles loving the slot didn’t mean all that much (my bad!). I really liked Westbrook last year, but he flopped badly and can now be removed from draft boards after Jacksonville took tackle-breaker Laviska Shenault Jr. early in Round 2 to join D.J. Chark on an offense with Leonard Fournette and Gardner Minshew in the backfield. It’s a pretty strong strategy to win the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes in 2021.

Follow Dalton Del Don on Twitter.

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The Rock Set To Go Head-To-Head AGAINST WWE RAW

WWE established themselves on Monday Nights decades ago. There’s a new game in town and it’s The Rock.

The Titan Games are coming back to NBC on May 25th. The episodes were taped pre-pandemic so they will have a feeling of yesteryear attached to them. They will also be airing in the exact same time slot as WWE RAW.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that “there is no way this can make Vince McMahon happy.” That is probably a correct assumption since the Titan Games easily brought in six million viewers every week last season.

The Titan Games will only be an hour long, but it will probably take a bite out of WWE Raw’s 8:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST hour.


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Does the MMA community owe Stephen A. Smith an apology?

In the mind of Stephen A. Smith, he has been vindicated following his controversial comments about Donald Cerrone after “Cowboy” stated that he wasn’t mentally present for his UFC 246 fight with Conor McGregor. 

“Donald showed up,” Cerrone said to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “‘Cowboy’ wasn’t there. Wrong guy showed up. I couldn’t get going, couldn’t get excited, couldn’t get fired up. (I) didn’t want to be there.”

Smith caught the wrath of the MMA community after suggesting Cerrone quit in his January showdown against Conor McGregor when the Irishman finished him in 40 seconds.

Smith lambasted Cerrone for turning in an “atrocious performance” in the biggest fight of his career.  

“I’m quite disgusted,” he said on the ESPN+ post-fight show alongside Michael Bisping, Jon Anik and Chael Sonnen. “Let me be very, very clear: I’m honored to be up here with you guys. I’m a spectator watching the sport. I expected to see more than 40 seconds. I predicted McGregor was going to win this fight inside of two rounds. I thought he would take him out.

“Here’s the deal: 15 seconds in, ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone was done. He got hit with those shoulders in the clinch and he was done. It looked like he gave up. It was just an atrocious performance on his part.”

The MMA community returned fire and blasted Smith as merely a casual who didn’t understand nor appreciate the nuances of the sport. Among them was UFC commentator Joe Rogan.

“That’s a bad look for everybody,” Rogan said on an episode of his “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. “It’s a bad look for ESPN, it’s a bad look for him, it’s a bad look for the sport. There’s other people that can do this. … We have plenty of people out there who understand the sport. There’s plenty of them. … Stephen A. Smith is really good at that stuff. But it’s not the place for MMA. It’s just not the place. It’s not the same thing.” 

But Smith took to Twitter after Cerrone’s recent comments to tell the world that maybe he wasn’t so crazy for what appeared to be an offhanded comment. 

Does the MMA community owe Smith an apology?

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Trent Williams feels rejuvenated by trade to 49ers

FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2018, file photo, Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams is shown on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Tampa, Fla. After sitting out last season in a dispute in Washington, seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams is excited to start over in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

After spending all last season on the sideline in a dispute with management in Washington, Trent Williams couldn’t have scripted a much better outcome to this saga.

Williams left what has been one of the NFL’s most dysfunctional franchises in recent years to join one fresh off a Super Bowl trip in San Francisco where he has been reunited with coach Kyle Shanahan after spending four years together in Washington.

“I just want to get on the field, man. I can’t lie,” Williams said Thursday. “I’ve been chomping at the bit for some time. I’ve had my roller coaster of emotions because I did go back (to Washington) at the trade deadline. I was getting ready to play. I got that adrenaline dump. Now I’m chomping at the bit to able to get on the field with a Super Bowl-caliber team. That’s all I can think about right now.”

Williams will still have to wait for that chance after being acquired during the draft for a 2020 fifth-round pick and a 2021 third-rounder.

Most of the offseason is on hold for now in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with teams limited to virtual meetings as opposed to in-person installations and workouts. He is spending this time working out in Houston at a gym he owns with Adrian Peterson.

But when Williams is allowed to start practicing for real with his new team, he anticipates an easy transition because he still is a perfect fit for Shanahan’s offense 10 years after being picked fourth overall by the Redskins to play in it.

“The reason I was drafted to Washington is the way me and this offense marry up with my skill set,” he said. “That’s still the same. It’s a hand and glove fit. I know this offense like the back of my hand.”

Williams was no longer a good fit in Washington despite making the Pro Bowl every season from 2012 to 2018 as one of the game’s most athletic and dependable left tackles.

He sat out the entire 2019 season because of a dispute with Washington’s front office. The Redskins weren’t able to get the compensation they wanted at last year’s trade deadline and kept Williams. He renewed his request for a trade this offseason and was finally dealt last weekend.

In November, Williams revealed he had cancer and said that situation led him to distrust the Redskins’ medical staff and organization as a whole. He said at the time "there’s no trust there” with President Bruce Allen, who was fired after Washington’s 3-13 season.

The medical staff also was overhauled, and new coach Ron Rivera took control of football operations. But Williams still wanted out and got his wish granted.

Now he feels refreshed at age 31 after sitting out a year.

“I feel like I’m 25 again,” he said. “It’s my first year off of football since the second grade. It’s like 25 years of straight football every August. My body has had a chance to rest, a chance to heal. I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a position where I don’t feel an ache or a pain in the offseason. I feel rejuvenated to say the least.”

Williams is entering the final year of his contract, which will pay him $12.5 million this season.

A potential deal to Minnesota during the draft fell through in part because Williams and the Vikings didn’t see eye to eye on long-term plans.

The Niners then pounced and found the perfect replacement for six-time Pro Bowler Joe Staley, who had informed the team before the draft that he planned to retire because of a deteriorating neck condition.

Williams and 49ers general manager John Lynch have both said there’s no rush to get a deal done to lock up Williams beyond 2020.

“We both agreed that we can just take a wait-and-see approach,” Williams said. “It’s the last year of my deal. Obviously, it’s an incentive for me to play well. They had to give up a third-round (pick) next year, so they’re invested in the deal as well. Both parties are interested in something long term but I’m more than OK with just getting my feet wet and just playing it out.”


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Backstage News On Mauro Ranallo And WWE Hall Of Famer Beth Phoenix Working WWE NXT ...

It's now confirmed that Mauro Ranallo and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix called this week's WWE NXT episode from home.

There had been speculation on Phoenix and Ranallo after Tom Phillips opened this week's NXT episode on the USA Network, and then introduced them for the matches. Ranallo and Phoenix were not shown on camera during the show. Wrestling Observer Radio and Pro Wrestling Sheet have now confirmed that they called the show from home instead of the closed-set Performance Center in Orlando, FL as another precautionary safety measure during the coronavirus pandemic.

WWE's production team reportedly put together a way for Phoenix and Ranallo to call the action from their homes, to keep them as integral parts of the show during commentary while limiting the amount of travel they would need to do for now. Ranallo lives in Southern California while Phoenix lives in the Asheville, NC area. We noted a few days ago how WWE had been working on a way to where Mauro could do commentary from his home studio, and do the announcing on NXT live without being in the building.

The Observer reported last week that Phoenix and Nigel McGuinness both had time off right now due to concern over COVID-19 as they have young children and don't want to quarantine for two weeks. That report noted that Ranallo had also opted not to fly from his home to Florida for the tapings. Mauro recently did some commentary work for the April 8 episode, but he did that work in post-production from his home. That was Mauro's first episode since March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and this week's show was his first since then. This was Beth's first episode since March 11. Nigel has also been away since then.

It was noted today by Pro Wrestling Sheet that WWE is able to do this with the NXT announce team because they appear on-screen less than the RAW and SmackDown teams. This is why WWE used Tom for the opener and for several more moments throughout the show, from the "virtual announce desk" at the taping.

There's no word yet on if WWE will go back to the two-man team of Tom and Byron Saxton, who have been calling the NXT action since the COVID-19 outbreak forced WWE to make drastic changes to their TV operations. WWE reportedly taped next week's NXT episode on Wednesday as well. They are set to the Performance Center for more RAW, NXT and SmackDown tapings on Monday, May 11, the day after Money In the Bank.

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Adam Scott goes live; all square after 9 holes with a mate


JW Player enhances live streaming offer with Live Channels

Claiming to allow digital media companies to broadcast and monetise live streamed content quickly and easily, independent video platform provider JW Player has launched Live Channels.
JW PLayer 27March2020On offer immediately, Live Channels is said to enables an event to start live streaming directly from an encoder in under 30 seconds with replays available in under a minute. Multiple latency settings are offered, allowing live streamers to select the option that works best for their viewers - wherever they are and however they are accessing content.

Dashboards and application programming interfaces (APIs) provide flexible workflows to monitor and adjust the status of the stream. Viewers can be reached across mobile, desktop, and connected TV, plus multiple social channels at the same time.

JW Player says that with its new product, brands, web publishers and broadcasters can now deliver time-sensitive content to their viewers at broadcast-quality with minimal effort. Live Channels is said to offer a simple workflow to reach and monetise audiences with content across all devices and platforms, including web, mobile, OTT apps, and social.

“We’ve seen a 400% increase in live streaming across the JW Player network over the last month as audiences seek timely news as well as content like fitness classes and religious services.” explained JW Player co-founder and chief product officer Jeroen Wijering. “But it’s more than just a temporary spike. We see significant growth in average viewing sessions and return visits for sites that stream live content, especially with news and sports, so we have built a solution to make it easy for media companies to effectively and easily add engaging live broadcasts to their sites.”

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DAZN USA on Twitter: "Errol Spence is taking himself over Floyd Mayweather. … "

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DAZN USAVerified account. @DAZN_USA. Home of the biggest fights and the biggest names in boxing. Download DAZN NOW: ...



Which college athletes will cash in the most?

The NCAA announced on Wednesday the support of a proposal for college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness. The day marked an important step in the NIL legislation, which should be formally passed in January and put in place in time to start the 2021 football season.

As with most NCAA initiatives, there are still more questions than answers on how this will look in reality. Yahoo Sports spoke to varying athletic officials, agents and marketing experts about what this could really look like.

1) How much could Trevor Lawrence make?

Lawrence won’t be eligible to exploit this new rule, as he’s expected to have declared for the NFL draft by the fall of 2021 when this is enacted. But for the face of the sport in the future – think Auburn’s Bo Nix in 2021 – there’s potential for real money to be earned.

“I think you’re talking at minimum half million, closer to a million dollars,” said Zach Soskin, an athlete ambassador with Voltage Management who has studied this space extensively. “That’s conservative.”

Here’s what Soskin said are some of the misconceptions. It’s unlikely that a top college star will draw much interest from national deals. (There could be exceptions, as we know Lawrence’s blond locks would be a target for shampoo companies.) For the most part, Soskin sees college athletes getting things like trading card, autograph and memorabilia deals. (Think what Johnny Manziel and Todd Gurley were doing, just above board.) Also, local car dealerships and restaurants will be a huge driver.

K.J. Henry (L) congratulates Trevor Lawrence (16) and teammates after a touchdown during the CFP title game on Jan. 13, 2020. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

2) How much could Trevor Lawrence make just off social media?

The very specific answer came from Blake Lawrence, the CEO and co-founder of Opendorse, which helps athletes maximize their value.

He 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. Blake Lawrence 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.

(Blake Lawrence based these numbers off established metrics and payout from NFL players with similar social media followings. Tua Tagovailoa, for example, gets paid about the same now that he’s in the NFL.) Blake Lawrence said that amount could be even more if Lawrence had a YouTube channel.

“The fair-market value is going to be tied back to the audience size and engagement on content you do publish,” said Blake Lawrence, whose company works in the college space with schools that include Clemson and Duke. “Student athletes today are coming into college with significant followings.” 

3) How much could Zion Williamson have made at Duke?

A lot. 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.

Williamson is a good example of how complicated things will be, as he’s amid a legal entanglement with a marketing group that he fired after agreeing to a five-year deal after his college career ended. Williamson attempted to end that deal and is now with mega-agency CAA, but the lawsuits indicate how things can go wrong.

Williamson had to wait until after Duke to sign a shoe deal, and his $75 million Nike deal was only inflated by the buzz – and busted shoe – from his college career.

“I’m worried about how much a guy like Zion might lose,” said a high-end Division I coach. “Proper representation is going to be needed. The agent has to enter very early.”

4) What’s the future for basketball compensation?

This is tricky. The most followed amateur basketball players aren’t currently in college and are highly unlikely to go there. Those Include LeBron James Jr., Emoni Bates and Mikey Williams. (Bates is clearly the best player, Bronny has the most IG followers at 5.1 million and Williams is a blend of their talent levels and following. None has shown much interest in playing college basketball and it would be shocking if they ended up there.)

Any notion that being able to profit off the NIL will lure kids to college over the new G-League option appears unlikely. One of the appeals of the near $500,000 reported salary for Jalen Green is that it didn’t include endorsements. There’s little chance a kid will go to college and overcome that $500,000 with the endorsements there. If they wanted to go pro, they’re going to go pro. 

5) How much will sneaker business be impacted?

The more I asked around about the shoe business, the less it seemed likely that would be a giant factor in NIL for college kids. Schools have massive shoe deals, which is expected to mean if a kid goes to Duke he has to wear Nike there. So a Duke recruit signing with Adidas would mean both limited exposure and helping out a team tied to a rival company.

The recruiting impact could be something. As anyone who followed the federal basketball scandal knows, some of the black market can now be done above ground.

“The thing that Book Richardson and Lamont Evans went to jail for is now [essentially] legal,” said an industry source, referring to breaking NCAA rules. “If Adidas wants to pay Brian Bowen to go to Louisville, they seemingly can. That’s what it feels like. The devil is in the details, and I don’t think they have enough details flushed out for us to know.”

But the point is financial incentives will find their way to the most talented players. Perhaps not through the shoe companies.

6) How will recruiting be impacted?

What the industry source said about Adidas paying Bowen is at least true in spirit. Any notion that the NIL payments won’t cross over into recruiting is hilariously naïve and idealistic.

“It’s a whole new world,” said one industry source. “The law of unintended consequences of this is that you’re making boosters legal. If you’re the CEO of a company that makes a ton of money, you can figure out a way to legally pay a kid.”

Recruiting is going to take on a bottom-line nature. Hypothetically, if Yum Brands wants the Yum Center full of top Louisville talents, guaranteeing all the signees $50,000 in NIL benefits – billboards, ads, etc – seems like a good way to do it.

It’s impossible to separate players getting paid NIL benefits from the recruiting piece. And it’s also one of the times, especially in basketball, when players have the most value. Try this game today. Ask a friend if they can name a single college basketball player returning next season.

I’m guessing they can’t, unless they are a hardcore fan. UConn’s James Bouknight, Florida’s Scottie Lewis and Villanova’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl – three of the sport’s biggest names – are household names only among their own households and immediate fan bases.

Players should maximize what they can get as soon as they can get it.

Zion Williamson of Duke speaks during a news conference after being awarded the USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Player of the Year prior to the 2019 NCAA Final Four on April 5, 2019. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

7) What will most NIL payments look like?

Blake Lawrence of Opendorse put it this way. There will be two expected categories – physical and digital.

The physical endorsements are things like autograph signings, appearances and promotions from both memorabilia and trading cards. The digital ones are through social media, as discussed earlier with Trevor Lawrence.

For a majority of the players, the primary income streams will come through local appearances and autographs. Joe Burrow, according to Soskin, made about $2.5 million after the draft from both Panini trading cards and memorabilia. That number would have been less at LSU, especially after Burrow’s mediocre junior year. That’s a good estimate of what a high-end young player in a rabid fan base can command in that space as an NFL rookie. So there’d be some fraction of that as a college star. Burrow obviously did those deals knowing he’d be the No. 1 pick.

8) Why do players need to be careful with early deals?

Peter H. Miller of the Jabez Marketing group, whose clients include Dak Prescott, warns high-profile college athletes that early endorsement commitments in college could end up lowering an athlete’s value down the road. “If your ceiling is college, then maximize the opportunity,” he said. “But if you have the ability to transcend to the NFL, I’d pump the brakes.”

He said a deal for $5 per autograph for 10,000 autographs could be very appealing for a college star. But flooding the market with his signature at that low price could severely diminish his value down the line.

He offered this advice for college stars. “What’s more valuable for a college player?” Miller asked. “Really get into marketing and use social media to grow their brand. I wouldn’t worry about the dollars and partnerships. Worry about growing the influencers around your brand.” 

9) What could get in the way of NIL legislation going forward?

With the NCAA, it’s always important to read the fine print. The NCAA said in the release it will engage Congress for the “appropriate legal and legislative framework” to take steps forward, which likely includes some limited form of federal antitrust protection. Relying on Congress and the NCAA for a smooth outcome over something this complex is similar to expecting a good experience from a collaboration of the IRS and DMV.

As stumbling blocks to progress go, this could be a huge one. Dislike and distrust of the NCAA is one of the few American pastimes that bridges the political aisle during these defiantly partisan times. Members of Congress were tripping over themselves to rip the NCAA on Wednesday as a way to rally their constituents. “Why are we paying all these people at the NCAA if they can't give us more detail than this?” Florida congresswoman Donna Shalala told’s Ross Dellenger. “I'd be standing in the middle of my office scratching my head.”

10) What did college sports leaders think about NCAA’s rollout?

There were way more complaints that compliments, as the NCAA was heavy on rhetoric and light on details. The NCAA was forced into this, and leaders around the country were underwhelmed with the level of detail that the NCAA’s release entailed on Wednesday.

There was an overwhelming feeling of being underwhelmed, as one college sports official said there were only “half-answers” to the key questions. They also were perplexed by the timing.

“Tell me what’s right about it,” they said. “The NCAA Board of Governors knows it’s going to make decisions like this, and they announce it at 9 a.m. EST and 6 a.m. Pacific.”

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