Nonprofit to sign 100 Texas Tech football players to contracts worth $25,000 each

The Matador Club, a nonprofit collective organized by Texas Tech donors, plans to sign 100 Red Raiders football players each to one-year contracts worth $25,000 this week.

Cody Campbell, a founding board member of the Matador Club, said the 85 scholarship players and 15 top extras will be covered by the agreements. In return, they will be expected to do community service and charity work around Lubbock and, in the future, perhaps in other West Texas towns.

Campbell said player payments will be made monthly starting the first week of August and community service efforts will continue through next year.

When the club launched in February, Campbell said he and fellow Tech supporters Terry Fuller, John Sellers, Gary Petersen, Tim Culp and Marc McDougal served on the organization’s board of directors. Campbell and Sellers are former Canyon High School and Tech football teammates, as well as business partners.

State laws last July legalized college athletes being paid by third parties for the use of their name, image and likeness. The NCAA reluctantly joined after decades of prohibiting athletes from receiving more than a scholarship and the full cost of attendance allowances. Giving collectives, through which a school’s fans can pool money to support their teams, have quickly sprung up across the country.

“The Matador Club was funded by private donors,” Campbell said. “It’s a NIL collective. Donations range from $10 to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but we’ve gotten to a point where we’ve done pretty well so we’re ready to sign the football team contracts. We plan to move forward with (men’s) basketball and baseball in the coming weeks, months to come.”

The Matador club will offer each player the same contract, Campbell said, a one-year contract, renewable each year. The biggest star and extra each sign $25,000.

“Collectives have done things in different ways,” Campbell said. “You see some of them paying large sums to individual players. You see others doing different things. But what we really want to do is support the whole program. It’s a sort of a base salary for the guys. They’re not gonna be banned from doing other NIL stuff with anybody else. In fact, we’re gonna encourage them and help them do it.

“But it’s just something that’s going to make sure guys feel supported by the Texas Tech community, that they’re comfortable, and in a position where they can stay in the program and grow, because “We really believe in Coach (Joey) McGuire and his team getting away with focusing on long-term player development. We think that’s key to the success of Texas Tech, in particular.”

The 85 players is the maximum allowed by the NCAA on scholarships. Campbell said the 15 extras the Matador Club plans to sign will be the most likely to contribute to the team.

“Texas Tech has a long history of walk-ons doing very well,” Campbell said, “and coming in, being contributors, and winning scholarships over time. And so it’s important that we support as many of these guys as possible.”

All 100 players will be offered a contract this week. Checks should be distributed monthly.

In early December, Tech announced a $25 million donation from Campbell that will go towards a $200 million football facility proposal. Tech then named the field at Jones AT&T Stadium for him.

Campbell declined to say how much money the Matador Club has raised, citing competitive goals with NIL collectives from other schools, although the initial investment in Red Raiders football players is 2.5 million. of dollars. Campbell said there are additional funds beyond that. Donations are held in a cash account, he said, and not invested because “we don’t want to take any risks with anyone’s money.”

“It’s amazing how successful we’ve been from a fundraising perspective,” he said. “Really, I don’t even know if we’ve even scratched the surface in terms of the potential capacity of the Texas Tech community when it comes to something like this. I think we can compete with just about anyone. who on that front.”

Campbell said nearly 1,000 donors have contributed, but he said the Matador Club needs contributors big and small to be successful and sustain itself for many years. He said a number of fans donated $100 a month and others donated amounts such as $1,000 and $5,000.

“We were able to raise the funds we needed to achieve our goals,” Campbell said. “Tech fans have a lot of passion, don’t they? And almost everyone we’ve spoken to has been willing and able to help. They understand how important it is.

“I think overall my expectations have been borne out in terms of the reaction from Tech’s alumni base and fan body, and I think in the long run NIL will be a major force. for Texas Tech just because we have a very large alumni base and a relatively affluent but also very, very passionate alumni base that’s probably the main thing is that people care really into technology and are willing to do whatever they can to help.

Campbell said the Matador Club hired an NCAA attorney when it formed its collective and said it would operate under NCAA rules. In other words, only an outside entity, not the school, is involved, there will be an exchange of value by the athletes in exchange for money, and Void agreements cannot be used as an incentive for recruitment.

“It’s a rule that a lot of people break,” Campbell said of the latter, “but we’re absolutely not going to. We’re not going to play this game. Now I’m sure when every player on our roster gets $25,000, we’re going to know that Texas Tech has a good NIL program that rookies will love, but we’re not going to make any promises up front that we’re breaking all the rules.”

The State of Texas NIL law requires athletes to disclose any proposed NIL-related offer to their school. As of June 30, a year after Athletes were cleared to profit, Tech Athletes had disclosed NIL deals totaling nearly $1.7 million. Across all athletics department sports, not just soccer, 218 Tech athletes (170 male, 48 female) had disclosed 534 NIL transactions with an average value of $3,180 per activity.

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