MSU athletes to receive monetization training with new Evergreen Program

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Darien Harris is a Former MSU Football Player and the current Director of Player Engagement. Friday, he spoke about the new “Evergreen program” from Michigan State University (MSU).

“It’s for every student athlete,” Harris said. “That’s the big thing also, this is not just a football or basketball thing: This is for all student athletes we have. I’m looking forward to seeing how our student athletes are able to take advantage of it.”

The program is meant to help athletes navigate the era of monetization on their image and likeness. It’s designed to help athletes build their brand by working with them on social media influence and their professional image.

It will also make sure they’re complying with all rules and regulations regarding their business deals.

The evergreen program is new from MSU. Former athletes from the school told News 10 they’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Harris said, “A whole host of people coming from different sectors of the athletic department kind of all came together to try and figure this thing out pretty early on.”

Michigan state got on the forefront of developing this program last December, with the goal of helping student-athletes prepare for the opportunity to make lifechanging money.

“It’s young men and women that are going to be opened up to a totally different world now than they ever had before,” Harris said.

The Evergreen program will partner with industry leaders in the areas of student-athlete branding, development and financial education. Teaching athletes how to build their brand and online presence, as well as to make financial decisions, all to help maximize their earning potential.

“There’s a difference between attention online, and actually building your brand,” Harris said. “So, making sure our student athletes understand that it’s not just about likes, retweets, and getting verified on social media. It’s a lot more than that.”

Former athletes, like soccer player Lydia Franks, told News 10 it’s exciting to bring a revolutionary change like this to Spartan Athletics.

“Athletes have been wanting it for a while,” Franks said. “They’ve been talking about it for a while, we all have. I think it’s awesome they get to have it now. Definitely wish I had it when I was a student athlete but I’m happy that these student athletes will be able to make some money and make a name for themselves. I’m happy Michigan State is supporting them.”

Michigan has passed legislation allowing athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness. However, the legislation will not take effect until December of 2022.

There is a possibility the NCAA can make a general ruling where all student athletes across the country can profit off of their name, image, and likeness. For now seven states, including Mississippi, Texas and Florida already have laws taking effect on July first.

Wisconsin is the only state with no passed or pending legislation.

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