Still, Miami, which hosted the signing ceremony for Florida’s law last year, has been among the most aggressive schools to champion name, image and likeness changes publicly. In December, the school said it had signed a deal with INFLCR, which works with many schools, to help students understand the opportunities ahead. At the time, Manny Diaz, the football coach, lauded the deal as a way for players to “build your brand in the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic cities.”
Before this week’s opening, King attended personal finance classes offered by the university on Wednesdays to sort through myriad issues. He enlisted his mother and brother to help him assess whatever offers may arrive, sketched out ambitions for a podcast and considered the kinds of activities that held the most interest. Autograph signings and speaking engagements, he suggested, were his favorite.
With summer football obligations done around the lunch hour, he said, there were still plenty of hours in the day to pick up the kinds of gigs that athletes have never had.
He said he planned to save much of his earnings, and perhaps send some back home to Texas, as he looks toward life after his final season at Miami. He said he did not immediately plan to trade in his Jeep Wrangler for one of the glittering imports that fill South Florida’s highways.
But as Thursday approached, he said he was eager to at last earn some of what he sees as rightfully his. For too long, he and other players said, the system had worked for many — but not always for them.
“In some sense, you could say we got taken advantage of,” he said. “I think a lot of people, they just see us on Saturdays, and that’s the problem. If they had seen what we do every single day, day in and day out, then they’ll understand why it’s such a big deal to us to get paid.”