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How to Donate to Kentucky NIL: All Current Approved Ways to Contribute

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The biggest story in Kentucky athletics this week has undoubtedly been about NIL, and specifically how Kentucky is falling behind.

After two decommitments and with 2023 football recruiting class ranked just No. 48 in the country, Mark Stoops voiced some frustration towards where the Wildcats currently stand in NIL.

In his weekly press conference on Monday, Stoops said, “we need support from the community, the state. It is what it is.”

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Calling on the average fanbase to donate money to NIL will certainly turn some away, but there is certainly a large portion of the Big Blue Nation that would gladly show their support. There is just one problem, most people don’t know how.

This is no fault to their own and stems from a disconnect from UK Athletics, who has promoted little information on the new collectives. Hence why this article has been written.

Earlier this week, KY Insider reached out to the Kentucky athletic department to see the approved ways that fans and local businesses can help with NIL. Take a look!

This information comes directly from the Kentucky athletic department.

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BBNIL Exchange

If you are a business owner or just an individual that is interested in pursuing a student-athlete to promote your business/product or support, please check out the BBNIL Exchange at the following link:

https://dash.inflcr.com/exchange/the-university-of-kentucky

Individual Student-Athlete Apparel

You can also support your favorite Wildcat by purchasing your favorite Kentucky Wildcats name and number T-shirts customized with your favorite players’ names on the UK Team Shop.  Athletes will be compensated for each sale in line with the group licensing model that 100 percent of the players in the NFL, MLB, WNBA and MLSPA participate in.

https://www.ukteamshop.com/?query=NIL&_ref=p-HP:m-SEARCH

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Organizations That Accept Donations for NIL Activities

Additionally-there are several organizations that we are aware of that are taking donations. Those include:

Athlete Advantage: https://athleteadvantage.xyz/the-15/ 

Charities Across the State for Kentucky: https://catsforkentucky.org/

Commonwealth Causes: https://commonwealthcauses.org/donations/donation-form/

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K Fund

Finally, the K Fund is the fundraising arm of the University of Kentucky Athletics Department, responsible for providing the resources necessary to ensure our student-athletes have the opportunity to earn a first-class education and compete for championships. These resources are provided through student-athlete scholarships, state-of-the-art facilities, and the financial support essential for UK Athletics’ 22 varsity sports programs to excel.  By investing in the K Fund, you are providing support to more than 500 UK student-athletes and helping ensure their academic and athletic success. Donations to the K Fund, through Annual & Capital funds, are used to provide:

Student-Athlete Scholarships – tuition, room & board
Academic Support and Career Development
Athletic Facilities Maintenance, Renovations, and/or New Facilities
Coaching & Administrative Support

Please contact the K Fund office at 859-257-6300 for more information or visit our website: https://ukathletics.com/sports/k_fund/


We hope that this information was found to be helpful and provides the Big Blue Nation with some clarity about where currently NIL stands.

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It is important to note that on Wednesday, reports did come out that Kentucky will be releasing some more information within the next week that should better their position in the NIL landscape.

What are some things you would like to see when it comes to NIL?

Also published on A Sea of Blue.

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Football

Chris Oats, Senior UK Linebacker That Suffered a Stroke, is Celebrated on Senior Day and Even Throws an L’s Down

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UK Athletics

Chris Oats committed to the Kentucky Wildcats as a four-star linebacker in 2018. After two seasons, he had appeared in 25 games and recorded 73 total tackles, 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

Things were trending up for Oats as he was set to become a defensive leader and have a breakout season, but in May of 2020, he suffered a career-ending stroke. While the medical incident ultimately forced Oats off the field, his legacy has been carried with the team on and off the field.

On the field, one rotating Kentucky player wore his No. 22 jersey without a name on the back in honor of their teammate during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Off the field, Oats reminds the team what “true adversity really is” says head coach Mark Stoops.

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Since his medical incident, Oats has been progressing with rehab. With the help of Big Blue Nation, $170,000 was raised last summer to help Oats and his family purchase a wheelchair-accessible van to get to and from treatment.

That treatment has helped Oats regain some movement and independence. In March of this year, Oats was able to stand up with the assistance of his family for the first time since the incident.

In September, he was able to walk his sister down the aisle, citing it as motivation for what he has worked so hard for.

The most emotional moment came on Saturday as Oats participated in Kentucky’s senior day activities, standing up and even throwing an L’s down.

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After the game, Stoops talked about the emotions of having Oats on the field and what he has meant to the program. “You have a tendency to feel down or disgruntled or — that’s real adversity. He’s facing it head-on. I’m sure there are ups and downs. I know there is. But we all can learn a little bit from that.”

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Barion Brown Puts a Stop to Transfer Rumors, Says He Is “BBN for Life”

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UK Athletics

This season’s Kentucky team had plenty of experience but also had plenty of young talent, including some explosive offensive players. During his weekly call-in show last week, Mark Stoops talked about trying to keep this group of freshmen, calling it a “free-for-all” where schools just throw money at players.

One of those explosive freshmen is Barion Brown, and in recent weeks there was a rumor that he could be looking to transfer. Brown responded several times to fans on social media that was not considering leaving, but after Saturday’s game he wanted to end any and all doubt about his return.

When asked in the postgame press conference, Brown quickly dismissed the rumors and said that he doesn’t know where they came from, but that he will return and is “BBN for life.”

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This is positive news, as Brown has proved himself as one of the great young talents in the SEC. With the Bowl game still remaining, Brown already holds the Kentucky freshman record for receiving yards in a season (604) and most pass receptions in a season (45).

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Mark Stoops Calls NIL/Transfer Portal Era “100% Free Agency”

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UK Athletics

In 2021, college athletics was forever changed. In the span of just a few months, the NCAA implemented the “one-time transfer rule” and rules to allow student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).

With both of these, it opened up the possibility for players to transfer to schools strictly based on potential marketing/brand deals, with Stoops calling it “100% free agency” on his weekly call-in show.

Now, a year and a half later, college sports have already seen several cases of this play out. This includes a billionaire alum of the University of Miami, John Ruiz, using his wealth and company, LifeWallet, to buy as much talent as he can afford.

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While it may not seem fair, it is the new reality and it is starting to take effect on the Kentucky football program. In his weekly call-in show on Monday, Mark Stoops opened up about it.

“With the name, image, and likeness, man, it is just a different world. It is absolutely insane what’s going on. Transfers. Your own team. You know how many people are going after our young players? We have as good of freshmen as I’ve ever had. And it’s like a free-for-all.”

The freshman Stoops is referring to?

Deone Walker, who has been a bright spot on the defensive line and is a semifinalist for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award. Two freshmen receivers, Dane Key and Barion Brown, now hold all of UK’s freshman receiving records. Not to mention, Alex Afari and Keaten Wade, who have made big plays in key moments this season.

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Recruiting that caliber of player is relatively new to Kentucky football, but now they have to find out how to retain them with schools “just throwing money” at them, as Stoops said.

“They’re just throwing money, you know what I mean? I don’t know, I don’t understand. It doesn’t seem healthy, I’m not sure it’s sustainable, but it’s legal, and once again I’m sorry. I hate to ask but we need the support. We need it desperately. It’s total free agency.”

In his Monday morning press conference, Stoops even suggested that he would donate back to the players if he was allowed. “I wish I could take some of that contract I just got and give it to my players and give it to the collectives… I promise you, I’d donate back to the players.”

At this point, the precedent has been set and it is up to the programs to adjust.

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