Penn State football players will benefit from a new booster-driven collective called We Are NIL, which intends to provide team high performers with rare permanent disability insurance.
Founder Michael Krentzman told SportTechie Thursday night that the platform already has permanent disability insurance in place for offensive tackle Caedan Wallace, who was able to qualify due to his status as an NFL prospect.
“This insurance isn’t easy to come by,” said Krentzman, an attorney and businessman. “You really need to be considered insurable. You have to be a safe NFL talent in the eyes of many insurers to do that. And you can’t do anything wrong physically, a rebuilt knee or something. They want to know that you’re not wrong. Things you might not even know are wrong, like an abnormal heart rhythm. Once they have that policy, they take the risk.”
Given that the NCAA has previously limited the amount of insurance a school can offer a student athlete, We Are NIL could potentially break new ground in college sports. Permanent total disability insurance is a form of workers’ compensation that would give a player a week’s wages for losing the ability to work. Typically, Penn State and other universities can offer some level of disability insurance to qualifying athletes, but with a cap due to budget constraints.
But We Are NIL can go beyond that limit with its permanent disability insurance. “It’s for a player who can’t play football anymore,” Krentzman said. “If he gets hurt on the field, off the field, in practice, or if he’s walking across the street and a jeep runs over his feet, he’s covered. From now until the end of the bowl game. This is how this policy works.”
Krentzman said he also hopes We Are NIL can get some level of permanent disability insurance for the players who aren’t NFL prospects, perhaps by “paying a little bit more premium to get a little bit less coverage.” It just seems like the right thing to do.”
According to Krentzman, We Are NIL will help players complete the extensive paperwork required to obtain insurance and that the platform will continue to be available to some Penn State basketball players in 2022.
“I’m trying to be consistent with what Penn State is all about — which is the supportive fan base,” Krentzman said. “If you’re walking down the street anywhere, if you’re walking through a major airport and you’re wearing a t-shirt with the Penn State logo on it, another Penn Stater will point at you and say, ‘We’re ,’ There’s something to it. So, yeah, we’re totally trying to raise money and get deals for guys and connect alumni. Total. But there are so many ways to use NIL for things that are so damn good, it’s amazing. So this is our MO. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
At the start of the college football season, NIL ratings conducted by college sports data company On3 showed a dozen college football players with a predicted rating of more than $1 million. Marketplace for athletes Opendorseknown as a leading NIL technology provider, as well as INFLCRthe NIL software and social media management platform, both have partnered with US Bank and MoneyLion respectively to improve financial literacy for collegiate athletes aiming for NIL.