The BYU football program announced a partnership with Built Brands, a nutrition company, that includes name, image and likeness (NIL) agreements with walk-on members of the Cougars' roster to cover their academic tuition.
BYU provided a video of all 36 walk-on players finding out the news Thursday:
Tuition for a full course load at the private university in Utah is $6,120 per semester for a non-Latter-day Saint and $3,060 per semester for a Latter-day Saint during the 2021-22 academic year, according to the school's official website.
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said he's happy the recent NIL changes are allowing all players, and not just the stars on each team, to benefit financially:
"From the beginning of the NIL discussion, my hope was that changes to NCAA rules and regulations would provide a pathway forward for all players to benefit more fully from their name, image and likeness, especially walk-ons who sacrifice so much to make our program great. When [Built co-founder] Nick Greer called to tell me that Built was committed to entering into NIL deals which would pay our walk-ons enough money to cover their tuition for the full academic year, I could not hold back my emotions. I love these boys, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be partnering with a company that is equally committed to assisting BYU football in building a culture of love and learning while enhancing the experience for all players."
Built co-founder Nick Greer said the company is "excited" about the team-wide partnership, which includes 123 players signing NIL agreements with the company.
"Games are won when every single player lifts and supports each other with everything they've got," he said. "That is how we will all win."
BYU is coming off an 11-1 season in 2020 that saw it finish 11th in the final Associated Press poll following a win over UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl. Star quarterback Zach Wilson was then selected with the second overall pick in the NFL draft by the New York Jets.
The Cougars kick off the 2021 campaign Sept. 4 when they face off with Arizona at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.