Penn State football players will benefit from a new booster-focused collective known as “We Are NIL,” which aims to provide the team’s best players with rare permanent disability insurance.
Founder Michael Krentzman told SportTechie Thursday night that the platform has already secured permanent disability insurance for offensive tackle Caedan Wallace, who was able to qualify due to his status as an NFL prospect.
“That insurance is not easy to get,” said Krentzman, a lawyer and businessman. “You really have to be considered insurable. You have to be a surefire NFL talent in the eyes of a lot of underwriters to do that. And you can’t have something physically wrong with you, a reconstructed knee or anything like that. They want to know that you have nothing wrong with you. Things that you might not even know are wrong, like heart arrhythmia. Once they take out this policy, they assume the risk.
Given that the NCAA has previously limited the amount of insurance a school can provide 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 weekly pay for losing the ability to work. Normally, Penn State and other universities can offer some level of disability insurance to qualified athletes, but with a cap for budgetary reasons.
But We Are NIL can go beyond this ceiling with its permanent disability insurance. “It’s for a player who can’t play football anymore,” Krentzman said. “If he gets hurt on the pitch, off the pitch, in practice, or if he crosses the street and a Jeep runs over him, he’s covered. From now until the end of the bowling match. That’s how this policy works.”
Krentzman said he also hopes We Are NIL can arrange some level of permanent disability insurance for players who aren’t NFL prospects, perhaps paying “a little more premium to get a little less coverage. It just seems like the right thing to do.”
According to Krentzman, We Are NIL will help players manage the full paperwork needed to obtain insurance and that the platform will also be available to select Penn State basketball players in 2022.
“I try to be consistent with what Penn State is about — which is the fan base helping each other out,” Krentzman said. “If you’re walking down the street just about anywhere, going 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 are” There’s something about it. So yeah, we’re totally trying to fundraise and get deals for guys and hook up oldies. Totally. But there’s so many ways to use NIL for things that are so good, it’s amazing. So that’s 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 an expected rating of more than $1 million. Athletes market opendorseknown as one of the leading providers of NIL technology, as well as INFLCRNIL software and social media management platform, have both partnered with US Bank and MoneyLion, respectively to enhance financial literacy for college athletes pursuing NIL.