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This quarterback just became the first college athlete to get his own trademarked logo

Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz throws a pass.
In this Dec. 5, 2020, file photo, Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz throws a pass during an NCAA college football game against Indiana. Mertz just became the first collegiate athlete to have his own trademarked logo as athletes will soon be able to profit off their name, image and likeness.
Morry Gash, Associated Press

As collegiate athletics gears up for a new era in which athletes will be able to profit off their name, image and likeness for the first time starting Thursday, one prominent football player has gotten ahead of the game.

On Monday, Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz unveiled his own trademarked logo, becoming the first collegiate athlete do so. The logo is built around his initials, similar to personal logos some professional athletes such as Tiger Woods have made.

Mertz unveiled the logo in a video he posted on Twitter Monday.

Also Monday, the Division I Council recommended to the Division I Board of Directors that an interim policy be put in place before Thursday that will allow all student-athletes to profit off their NIL.

As it stands right now, some states will be allowing it, but Congress has been slow to adopt a federal measure, leaving it up to the NCAA to make it so all student-athletes will be on a level playing field concerning NIL come Thursday.

Essentially, the measure, which will be voted on Wednesday, would suspend amateurism rules related to name, image and likeness (but would keep rules in place for pay-for-play and “improper inducements tied to choosing to attend a particular school”).

The measure would allow the following:

  • Athletes can “engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located,” and in states where there is no such law, athletes “can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.”
  • Athletes can use a professional services provider for NIL activities
  • Athletes should report NIL activities to their school. Additionally, “schools and conferences may choose to adopt their own policies.”