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The NIL Revolution | A Star Tribune series examining how the name, image and likeness era is transforming college sports:

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Five bucks for every autograph. Twenty grand for a podcast appearance. Social media posts in exchange for $10,000. An autographed hockey sweater: Another ten grand. Football players making thousands for going to lunch with donors.

The details in 272 endorsement deals recently signed by Gophers athletes are fascinating. They reveal the power of the NIL policy changes in college sports, showing how student-athletes can profit — from pocket money to mortgage payments — off of their name, image or likeness.

Student-athletes are required to disclose their NIL deals to athletic departments, which organize the data and share it with the NCAA for tracking purposes. The Star Tribune obtained the University of Minnesota student-athlete NIL reports dating from August 2022 to January of this year, and here are five more things to know about the deals going down in Dinkytown:

Gophers women scoring deals

The women on campus are outpacing their male Gophers counterparts by a healthy margin in the number of NIL deals signed: 61% of deals in this timeframe were signed by women; 39% by men. We can't say, however, women are earning more because total dollar amounts can't be derived from this data, for two reasons: (1) many of the endorsement agreements are rate-based (several athletes, for example, make 4% commission on sales of shirts with their name on it); and (2) the data is both incomplete and heavily redacted. Removed from these reports per privacy laws, at Minnesota and any other university, are: the athlete's name, the name of the sponsoring company or donor and the exact date of the deal. Each of these 272 Gophers NIL deals does list a sport, though, and women's sports at the U of M are ahead in this count.

Twenty-one deals in these reports show an athlete making $5,000 or more, and the gender split on those high-dollar deals was 11 deals for men, 10 for women. Women seem to be at least keeping pace with the men at the U, if not leading.

Missing details

Some of the other fine print in this data shows just how vague and seemingly unorganized and unchecked reporting of NIL endorsement deals has become. A Gophers softball player wrote "Merchandise" in the description field and "4%" as the amount she will be paid. A volleyball player wrote she was "posting on my social media" for an "unknown percentage." More than 30 endorsement deals have "unclear" listed as the financial compensation. Some say the NIL era feels like the "wild west." These data reports used by the NCAA and member schools don't do much to change that reputation.

Paying it forward

Many agreements for these Gophers athletes involve working at youth camps or spending time at clinics coaching young players. Some of these deals pay well, in the thousands, and some are similar to what a non-athlete would make working part-time. Softball players agreed to one-time payments ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 for their work at camps in recent months. A year ago, a volleyball player signed a deal to run her own camp and keep 75% of the entry fees. At least four Gophers athletes partnered with an outside entity to create his or her own youth camp.

Football is king

The leading sport for number of NIL deals? No surprise: football, with 59 reported NIL deals in this timeframe (22% of the total). Members of the basketball and hockey teams stay busy here, too, as you might have guessed (72 total deals for members of those four teams). Softball (41), women's soccer (23), gymnastics (21) and volleyball (12) also reached double-digits. Football players also landed a few of the highest-paying deals, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 for lunches, autographs and social media posts.

Social media spotlight

In endorsement deals that appear on social media, a company might ask an athlete to make a post to a platform like Instagram or TikTok using their product or vocalizing their support for their business. Of the 272 recent Gophers NIL deals, social media-related endorsements accounted for 57% of those agreements.

Mara Braun, a leader on the Gophers women's basketball team, recently explained to the Star Tribune that she has signed NIL deals with electronics giant JBL, Minnesota-based KLN Family Brands and other companies and promoted their brands to her audience of more than 35,000 followers across Instagram, TikTok and X (formerly Twitter). Braun added that athletes like her can put some of this money toward causes they believe in and "stand for things bigger than" themselves. NIL "can get lost in the money," she said, "but for me, it's bigger than that."

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Recent Star Tribune sports intern Gavin Dorsey of Northwestern University contributed to this article.