Alabama athletics launches NIL entity 'Yea Alabama': Nick Saban's reaction and what we know

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama athletics now has an official public NIL entity.

UA announced the news Thursday, calling its 'Yea Alabama.'

“Yea Alabama’s approach is both cutting edge and sustainable in an ever-changing NIL environment,” Athletics director Greg Byrne said in a statement. “Having one platform that allows supporters, subscribers and businesses a place to engage is so beneficial. This is another way for every ‘Bama fan to get behind our student-athletes, and we fully support Yea Alabama.”

Here's a closer look at some of the details.

What is Yea Alabama, UA's NIL entity?

Alabama now has an officially affiliated way to raise support for Alabama athletes through NIL. Previously, there was only a third-party group that was not officially affiliated with UA. It's unclear what this means for the future of High Tide Traditions, but UA describes Yea Alabama as an NIL entity, not an NIL collective.

"Yea Alabama is the official University of Alabama NIL entity established to cultivate and harness name, image and likeness opportunities for Alabama student-athletes," reads the "about" section of the Yea Alabama website.

What it means for the public

There are three levels to participate. The fans, the legends and the sponsors.

Fans are monthly subscribers who pick a level of support for what UA described as "exclusive content" throughout the year. The news release also said subscribers can gain access to exclusive fan experiences and marketing opportunities.

Legends make donations to the Walk of Champions nonprofit. The third level are the sponsors, which is defind as "brands looking for endorsement opportunities with student-athletes" at UA.

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What Nick Saban said about it

Alabama football coach Nick Saban was one of many notables in the launch video, which included everyone from Byrne and pitcher Montana Fouts to softball coach Patrick Murphy and basketball coach Nate Oats.

“I have always believed that our players should have the chance to benefit from their name, image and likeness,” Saban said in a school release. “Yea Alabama is an exciting new resource to help Crimson Tide student-athletes create value for themselves through a variety of NIL opportunities. The Alabama brand is one of the most powerful in sports, and our partnership with Yea Alabama provides exposure for our athletes that is unmatched in college athletics.”

Where the subscriber money goes

UA said the money from subscriber fees will go to athletes.

What isn't allowed

The Yea Alabama website makes clear there are multiple types of financial contributions that are not permitted.

  • Players receiving NIL compensation based on athletic performance
  • Contracts for NIL compensation can't stipulate players must compete for or attend UA
  • Players can't agree to NIL compensation deals that doesn't comply with federal, state, NCAA, SEC or UA rules, policies, laws and regulations
  • Players can't enter NIL compensation agreements that conflict with terms of an existing UA contract
  • Players can't enter NIL compensation agreements that negatively impacts or reflects on UA "including, but not limited to, bringing about public disrepute, contempt, embarrassment, scandal, ridicule, or otherwise negatively impacting the reputation or the moral or ethical standards of UA or its Athletics Department"
  • Players can't enter NIL agreements that involve tobacco, alcohol beverage companies, sellers or dispensaries of controlled substances, adult entertainment business and business engaged in gambling

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News/USA TODAY Network. Reach him via email: Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly.