COLLEGE STATION – Six months ago, Fred Spiller thought he would spend part of this summer enjoying his son Isaiah’s preseason accolades. Fred had no idea he would sift through several pre-season financial arguments with Isaiah as a varsity athlete.

“It’s crazy, it really is,” Fred said of the first half of July – the first two weeks of new NCAA guidelines allowing college athletes to take advantage of their name, image and likeness ( NILE). “With all the (offers) coming in, we’re trying to see what’s a good deal and what isn’t.

“It’s all new to us.”

That goes for everyone involved, and Fred said the Spillers are choosy when it comes to approving products. Texas A&M junior Isaiah Spiller, a Klein Collins alumnus, is one of the best returning backers in the country and has charm to spare when not plowing through defensive backs.

This is why Chicken Finger Raising Cane’s restaurant reached out to Isaiah for approval shortly after it became legal to do so for college athletes. Meanwhile, college footballers’ long-held fascination with a three-letter acronym starting with an N (NFL) has – at least for now – been spoofed by another with a more immediate payout (NIL).

“Raising Cane’s wanted Isaiah to become one of their ambassadors, and we thought it was a good idea,” Fred said with a chuckle. “We really love Cane’s. And it’s a national brand, so it was obvious.

Isaiah, who turns 20 in August, tweeted on July 5: “Fuel up after workout with my date at Raising Canes,” with a pleasant photo of Isaiah enjoying chicken, fries and cheese. Cane bread.

Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, LSU quarterback Myles Brennan and Ohio State cornerback Sevyn Banks also jumped on Raising Cane’s college train. Fred politely declined to reveal specific financial details of Isaiah’s Raising Cane contract, but A&M fan website was more than happy Friday to share his deal with Isaiah and A&M safety Demani Richardson. .

TexAgs, through a sponsorship from a real estate company, paid each player $ 10,000 for an exclusive interview at the TexAgs headquarters across George Bush Drive from the A&M training grounds. The news has sparked a nationwide backlash, as college players are openly paid for interviews is unprecedented.

Fred, who played tight for the Aggies two decades ago, said Isaiah has received many other offers over the past two weeks, but the Spillers are not accepting everything that was offered to them early in it. new NIL world.

“I don’t want him to overdo it,” said Fred. “I want him to focus on the season and do what he has to do this summer for the season. We are kind of picky and don’t just do the obvious.

A&M coach Jimbo Fisher has a media policy that does not allow freshmen to talk to reporters as they acclimatize to their unfamiliar surroundings and begin to blend in with their new teammates. Former A&M coach Kevin Sumlin had the same policy and explained that a big reason was to prevent jealousy among older teammates if a newcomer was in front of the mic early and often.

College coaches now face an entirely new area, one that makes muted freshmen seem like a snap: how to keep all players happy when a handful are making a lot more money than the other.

Fred, a behavior specialist in the Klein School District counseling department, said this was all the more reason Isaiah didn’t seize every opportunity to cash in early.

“People could get jealous and that could cause trouble in the locker room,” said Fred in general of the more obscure possibilities of the new NIL agreements. “That’s what we’re trying to avoid by not doing as much – doing a few little things here and there.”

Fred, who joked that he would have approved the Freebirds World Burrito at College Station if the NCAA had adopted the NIL policy around the turn of the century when he was playing, said the drastic changes “are long overdue.” to help college athletes.

“Being a downtown kid myself and not having a lot of support, this money goes a long way for children who don’t have a lot of support and need a little extra money,” he said. said Fred, a 1999 Nimitz graduate. “I know a lot of kids probably think they’re going to get rich because of it, but you’re probably not going to get rich with this money. But it’s good to have the extra money.

The Spillers have been in regular contact with Brad Barnes in the A&M athletics compliance department, Fred said, and they are counting on Barnes to lead their unexplored path to NIL.

“Every deal we have made or think we will make, I have a group text (message) with it,” said Fred. “(A&M has) a portal (online) to go through, to grab every NONE opportunity and let Compliance see it and make sure it’s okay. They inform you of the directives.

A&M opens camp in early August and the Aggies open Fisher’s fourth season Sept. 4 against Kent State at Kyle Field. Until then, there are sure to be plenty of other opportunities in Spiller’s lap, along with a handful of his top-tier teammates.

For example, junior defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal signed with Ballengee Group, a Dallas marketing company. And fellow defender Richardson has already won $ 10,000 for a 20-minute interview on, with him and Isaiah leading the way for what’s certainly more to come on this front.

“We’re going to support (NIL) a thousand percent, and we have to – we want to do it for our players,” Fisher said of the major changes in the NCAA this summer. “At the same time (the players) have to learn that it will be a learning curve for them too, learn to keep things in perspective and remember that you have a mark because you are playing well.”

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