NIL Episode 9: Barstool & The Business of NIL - Sportsfinda's Marketplace

In the Business of NIL Episode 9 our guest and sports attorney Dan Lust speaks on Barstools involvement in the world of NIL. Dan has been a lawyer now for about 8 years, and has experience in sports as well as he worked for the New York Giants in the public relations department as well as working for a baseball agency before working as a lawyer. In the recent 2-3 years Dan has been working more in sports law and media on Espn, Fox sports giving his thoughts on sports stories involving legal perspectives. 


Barstool sports has been a new addition to the world of NIL which came as a surprise to many due to them being gambling heavy and having their own sportsbook. Since barstool has started representing student athletes, just over one third of the student athletes across the country have registered to be a barstool athlete. The fear for schools that have athletes signing with Barstool is the alcohol and gambling that are linked to Barstool and can be not the ideal place for athletes who are in college and may still be underage to be linked to that. 

Although schools may see the down side of student athletes being linked to Barstool and other businesses that may not be the ideal place for student athletes to sign with, it is hard to stand up for that and tell athletes they can’t sign with Barstool or other companies they may see potential issues with because it may give them disadvantages such as:

  • Recruitment disadvantages (players picking school B over school A because one lets them be a barstool athlete and the other doesn’t)
  • Athletes feeling like they are not trusted/supported by their school because they can not sign with who they want

These reasons make it hard for schools to put their foot down because they do not want to risk any of these things happening to their players. 


For student athletes that are signing deals most of the time the companies are reaching out to the athletes and offering them deals. So for athletes it is important to know what they want and make sure they are getting into the right sorts of deals. It is important to look out for in the deals:

  • The length of the deal (could be a 1 year deal, or a deal that goes through someone’s entire 4 year college career)
  • The terms of the deal (what they want you to do, how they want you to do it)


While the NIL is still relatively new, the rules are still being established and maybe also taken advantage of by certain schools and states. While it was thought that the student athlete has to provide a service and sign a deal to make money, some schools have taken advantage of these new times and have basically offered pay for play at certain schools meaning that if an athlete signs with their school over the others he/she is considering, they will pay money to have them sign which has caused some controversy in the past and may continue to do so down the road. 


All in all, the NIL world is new for everyone, and while it is certainly taking off, the rules and regulations behind it are still a work in progress. While this is happening, schools and businesses across the country are doing their best to take advantage of these new times whether that be the school trying to help organizations and programs across their school, or businesses trying to make money and sign as many athletes as they can. The NIL is still a work in progress and is coming across new ideas daily and doing their best to make it as safe and profitable as it can be.

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