As name, image, and likeness (NIL) continues to grow across college athletics, seven collectives serving to benefit student athletes financially — including The Grove Collective — have joined forces to bring attention to prominent issues faced by NIL facilitators.
The Collective Alliance (TCA) was formed after several collectives attended a congressional summit in Washington, D.C. aimed at lobbying lawmakers to create uniform NIL laws.
Walker Jones, the executive director of The Grove Collective, explained that a group of like-minded organizations came together to exchange ideas and create a uniform set of policies to present to NCAA administrators as well as leaders from universities throughout the nation. The goal is to further develop the market to pay student-athletes in an environment that is conducive to all 200-plus NIL operators.
“We put together a cross-section of collectives from the Power Five, there will be a few more collectives joining as well, so we can represent all the different groups and throw out some common sense ideas,” Jones said on SportsTalk Mississippi. “[We will] try to be a bridge to address whether it be an agent registry, uniform state law, revenue share that doesn’t involve employment, or things of that nature.”
According to Jones, the alliance also plans to release a revenue-sharing model for college athletes that does not require them to become university employees. Jones alleges that the overwhelming majority of athletes prefer to enjoy the liberties of just being a student without having to be regulated as an employee of their respective schools.
“Almost every student-athlete I have talked to does not want to be an employee. They just want to be a student-athlete,” Jones continued. “They don’t want to be governed by a union. They don’t want to be regulated that way. I think we would lose a lot of the essence of what makes college athletics great if we go that route.”
The founding members of the TCA include:
- Classic City Collective (Georgia)
- Spyre Sports Group (Tennessee)
- The Grove Collective (Ole Miss)
- The Battle’s End (Florida State)
- House of Victory (USC)
- Champions Circle (Michigan)
- Happy Valley United (Penn State)
The seven members plan to vote on a set of bylaws and hope to begin holding meetings with NCAA president Charlie Baker, various conference commissioners, and numerous athletic directors.
Since its inception in 2021, NIL has pulled in nearly $2 billion for college athletes throughout the U.S.