No NIL money, no recruits. Reaction to Texas Longhorns group offering $50K to linemen.

·3 min read
Kathleen Batten/AP

As if the University of Texas athletics department didn’t already have enough money.

A new nonprofit group called Horns with Heart has announced it will offer every scholarship offensive lineman $50,000 a year starting next season.

They’re calling the program the “Pancake Factory,” after the term used for a dominating block by a lineman that puts the opposing player on his back.

It’s hailed as the “first of its kind to support a football position group,” according to the group’s press release.

The players will be “empowered to make positive impacts on their communities and charities close to their hearts while utilizing their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL),” the release said.

The Texas NIL law went into effect on July 1. It allows college athletes to earn money using their name and image.

“This has created a unique opportunity for a charitable program to be created that will benefit players, charitable causes, and the University of Texas all collaboratively, and Horns with Heart was created with exactly that purpose in mind,” the release said.

Former Texas defensive lineman Roy Miller III, a nine-year NFL veteran, echoed the sentiment of a lot of college football fans in a social media post on Twitter.

“I like that players are being paid. But there’s something about being in a state of learning and dreaming,” Miller said. “College used to be that place where most people were broke. I say put that money in a trust and pay a respectable salary out of it. Passion doesn’t often come in comfort.

Miller added, with words included for clarification: “One thing [is] for sure, no NIL $ [equals] no recruits.”

The group suggests “The Pancake Factory” is just the first of many “player-focused charitable programs” in the near future it will initiate, not only for other football players, but also with other Texas athletic teams, too.

A separate initiative called the Clark Field Collective was announced last week which pledged an initial $10 million commitment to NIL fundraising for Texas student-athletes. That group’s goal is to create the largest NIL fund for athletes in the county.

“The goal is to make these programs sustainably funded on a yearly basis into perpetuity,” the release said.

The Horns with Heart’s “Pancake Factory” program begins Aug. 1, 2022. As long as the scholarship offensive lineman remains eligible, he’ll receive payments totaling $50,000 for their participation in the initiative. Their participation will include charitable appearances and bringing awareness to causes in their local communities.

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