The Matador Club announced that they will be funding $25,000 per year contracts for all 100 Texas Tech football players. I had to be a bit careful I typed this as my natural reaction would have been to type “Texas Tech announced . . . ” but this isn’t Texas Tech the university doing this, but a non-profit organization that is intended to ensure Texas Tech student-athletes are making a positive impact on the community:
Statistics show that 85% of student-athletes with full-ride scholarships live in poverty. This doesn’t even touch walk-on players. We want to help change that. The Matador Club is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. We create avenues for Texas Tech student-athletes to make a positive impact with their name, image, and likeness (NIL). And our partnership with local organizations gives student-athletes meaningful NIL collaborations.
There’s a lot that I don’t know or understand, but from what I do understand, these student-athletes receive compensation from the Matador Club in exchange for the student-athletes being involved in different community service projects. That sounds like a positive.
Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams has an excellent explainer and was there for the announcement:
“The Matador Club has been funded by private donors,” Campbell said. “It’s an NIL collective. Donations have ranged from 10 dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but we’ve gotten to a point where we’ve done pretty well and so we’re ready to sign the contracts with the football team. We plan to move forward with (men’s) basketball and baseball in the next weeks, months to come.”
The Matador Club will offer each player the same contract, Campbell said, a one-year deal, renewable annually. The biggest star and the walk-on are each signing for $25,000.
“Collectives have done things a number of different ways,” Campbell said. “You see some of them paying large amounts to individual players. You see others doing different things. But what we want to do, really, is support the entire program. This is kind of a base salary for the guys. They’re not going to be restricted from doing any other NIL stuff with anybody else. In fact, we’re going to encourage and help them to do that.
“But this is just something that’s going to make sure that guys feel supported by the Texas Tech community, that they are comfortable and in a position where they can stay in the program and develop themselves, because we really believe in what coach (Joey) McGuire and his staff are doing in terms of being focused on long-term player development. We think that’s the key to Texas Tech, in particular, having success.”
Shortly after the announcement, TCU recruiting coordinator Bryan Carrington attempted to go on the offensive on Twitter, trying to talk some nonsense about your “brand” and being separate from the university. Nonsense. Most humans don’t have a brand and are trying to get from A to B every day and if this money helps those players, especially the walk-on’s, then why would you care. Carrington attempted to state that this was a ceiling and well, that’s just not true. I can assure you that the more popular players will be making more money. Carrington is attempting to be fake-smart, which is not smart at all and that is embarrassing.
Zach Kittley responded accordingly.
Here’s the deal….come to a school that truly wants to take care of you on and off the field. Relationships and true love for your players is what it’s all about. There’s no better place than Texas Tech! #WreckEm
— Zach Kittley (@ZKittley) July 19, 2022
I’m fine with TCU having a team that cares about each player’s own personal brands. I’m also fine with focusing on The Brand and I am guessing that Joey McGuire is too.
Today The Matador Club and the Texas Tech University football team made history.
We signed the entire team with 5-Figure deals. The whole team. Walk-ons and starters.
Wreck ‘Em! pic.twitter.com/fvc9hQA02F
— The Matador Club (@MatadorClubOrg) July 19, 2022
This team looks so unhappy not being able to focus on their own personal brand.
We had an incredible day getting to watch 100 student-athletes sign team-wide NIL deals with The Matador Club. It’s an honor to partner with an organization that works for the best interest of each of its student-athletes! pic.twitter.com/rhQ41JVHxb
— Dark Horse Collaborative (@DarkHorseCollab) July 19, 2022