PSU NIL Collective To Offer Player Disability Insurance

            NIL has changed the landscape of college sports. While giving athletes the opportunity to profit from NIL while in school, there is also new opportunity in unconventional ways for athletes to be provided with financial backing and support.

Most recently, an NIL collective at Penn State, called “We ARE…”, has created a model that is going to offer the most important benefit to its football players: disability insurance. WE ARE president Michael Krentzman is focused on putting their football players first, and their families second. “WE ARE…” collective has become the first known NIL collective to purchase catastrophic injury insurance for a college athlete and the collective will continue to do so as they raise more money [1]. This Penn State collective is hoping to raise between $6-10 million dollars, and the money will go to total disability insurance for top athletes. Krentzman said, “Every player that we can buy insurance for, we are going to. To do that, we need the resources. I want to do as much good for Penn State athletes as possible and it takes a strong backing to do that [2].”

This idea is monumental and something college sports has been missing for a long time. Potential future superstars too frequently have their careers derailed because of an injury they sustained while playing in college. This collective has already successfully secured insurance for offensive linemen Caedan Wallace, and they plan to secure insurance for others as well. Caedan Wallace is a 6-foot-5 301-pound offensive tackle and is expected to go pro when he is done at Penn State. If something unforeseen were to happen to Wallace and he is unable to play football going forward, he will be covered by the insurance package that was purchased for him by “WE ARE…” [3]. There are currently options out there for athletes to take out insurance policies on themselves, but it is often a difficult process to obtain as not all athletes apply, and often times you have to show that you have the potential to be a top draft pick. The premium is also very expensive for an athlete to take out a policy [4]. This is where “WE ARE…” comes in. “WE ARE…” has an agent who deals with the insurance company and once they handle the logistics, the collective can pay the premium for the player. There are some stipulations to this, as players must reach certain health and physical qualifications, as well as have the potential to one day make the NFL [5].

“WE ARE…” isn’t stopping at just disability insurance for their athletes. The collective is thinking of other unconventional ways to support their athletes. For example, the collective is going to try and cover the expenses of families who may not be able to afford to make the trip who want to come watch their kids play [6].

The NIL space is still very new, and it is going to be very interesting down the road how schools and athletes take advantage of the new opportunities they have. Penn State is surely going to be the first school of many that takes initiative in protecting their players and supporting their families, amongst many other worthy causes.

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