There might not be a more marketable athlete in Stillwater than the Cowboys’ QB1, but Spencer Sanders is entering the name, image and likeness era with caution.
Sanders, entering his third year as Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback, fielded a handful of NIL questions at Big 12 Media Days last week. To this point, Sanders hasn’t unveiled some extravagant logo, appeared as the new face of Eskimo Joes or had a pizza at Hideaway named after him.
“I don’t know too much about it, so I’m just trying to be cautious at this point,” Sanders said. “I don’t want to take any random suspension that could really tax me. I’ve just kinda been taking it easy — figuring out the loopholes and figuring out what other people are doing and seeing what I can do.”
Sanders spoke a few times about still playing for “the love of the game.” He said he didn’t have issues with student-athletes making money on the side, but it wasn’t something he was going to dive straight into.
Mike Gundy might know more than anyone what the potential market for OSU’s quarterback could be after being one himself and coaching many QB1s since 2005.
After Gundy’s senior season in 1989, he was the program’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. Gundy joked at Big 12 Media Days that there probably wouldn’t have been much of a market for a “5-11.75, 185-pound quarterback.”
“Wouldn’t have been much,” Gundy said. “Probably a car deal down there at Hudiburg Chevrolet in Midwest City. Probably would have got $25 and a pack of Topps trading cards.”
In a town like Stillwater where OSU football is the biggest show in town, there likely would have been a market for Gundy — just like there would have been markets from Zac Robinson, Brandon Weeden and Mason Rudolph. Sanders is the first to be able to take advantage of such a proposition, but, for now, he is going at his own pace.
“I’m still here for the love of the game, but don’t get me wrong, if you can make profits on the side, then that’s fine,” he said. “I don’t want to lose sight of why I’m here.”
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