FedEx Giving an Unprecedented $25 Million to the University of Memphis For its NIL Program

For better or worse, college athletics are truly moving into a new era. This is no longer your father’s college sports climate — where it was technically illegal to gift athletes any sort of funds. For decades, this practice occurred under the table to varying degrees of secrecy.

With the advent of NIL, everything has been seemingly changed overnight. Another example of this premise includes FedEx’s involvement with the University of Memphis. As was reported Friday morning, FedEx committed to giving the university $25 million spread out over five years for its collection of athletes.

The funds offered by the business are said to be centered around basketball programs, a plethora of other women’s sports, and football. This partnership makes a whole lot of sense when delving beneath the surface. FedEx is a massive company based in Memphis. Memphis plays its basketball games at FedExForum. A host of Memphis grads work for FedEx. The company itself is deeply rooted throughout the city in several ways. Further extending its reach, an event to showcase the football program will be reportedly hosted this Saturday by none other than FedEx.

This is yet another example of how the amateur sporting world is evolving into a non-amateur entity. Without a salary cap of sorts, these NIL collectives can raise as much money as possible to compensate their school’s athletes. We’ve seen players sign brand deals over the last calendar year — where they go out on their own and create business for themselves. Along with that, these collectives have also been set up to provide each athlete with a baseline income.

The higher-profile athletes are potentially involved in up to upwards of 10 different brand deals alone. At some point, you’d figure the NCAA will figure out a way to somewhat neutralize the advantage some schools have over others. With more active boosters/deeper pockets, those schools with the resources have a decided advantage over the ones that don’t.