SMU was once given the death penalty for paying players in the 1980s. Flash-forward a few decades and the Mustangs are on the leading edge of NIL collectives. A source close to SMU athletics confirmed that the Boulevard Collective, a group associated with SMU athletics, is set to pay football and basketball players on The Hilltop $36,000 each for the 2022-23 season. The deal was first reported by On3. The payout will total $3.5 million annually.
This news is on the heels of The Matador Club paying Texas Tech football players $25,000 each on an annual basis. SMU's new deal is the most per player announced to date. The collective's website describes its mission as “to build meaningful relationships between student-athletes and the SMU community at large. From individual fans to DFW businesses to Fortune 500 companies, the Boulevard Collective will convene (or corral) its network to elevate SMU student-athletes with marketing opportunities that will enhance their brand and empower their personal passions.”
SMU is under the direction of first-year head coach Rhett Lashlee. The Mustangs went 30-17 over the previous four years with Sonny Dykes in charge. Dykes left after the season to coach at TCU.
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