Former Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer is joining the board of a nonprofit that will pay Buckeyes football and basketball players to work with charities.
Meyer will serve on the board of THE Foundation, an organization co-founded by Brian Schottenstein, a Columbus real estate developer and Ohio State booster, and Cardale Jones, the former national championship-winning quarterback for the Buckeyes. It launches at the end of this month.
“There isn’t a better person to have on the board than Coach Urban Meyer,” Schottenstein said. “It goes without saying that he’s one of the greatest recruiters of student-athletes and coaches of all time. I appreciate his support and friendship.”
Under NCAA rules passed last summer, college athletes are permitted to profit off the use of their name, image and likeness.
The opportunities for compensation from third parties have in recent months led to boosters at a series of schools setting up groups that pool money and resources from fervent fans to fund NIL deals for players. Experts see these efforts as part of a burgeoning arms race across the college sports landscape.
Schottenstein aims for THE Foundation, which will also rely on donations from Ohio State fans, to become the largest NIL fund in the country.
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THE Foundation’s board is to include more than a dozen members and will help select which players and charitable organizations to partner with.
“Hopefully it will help current and future athletes,” Schottenstein said.
In an announcement of Meyer’s addition to the board on Wednesday, the group touted Meyer’s success in college, which included winning a pair of BCS national championships at Florida before leading the Buckeyes to the first College Football Playoff national championship in the 2014 season.
After retiring from coaching at the end of the 2018 season, he spent two years as an assistant athletic director at Ohio State and as a studio analyst with FOX Sports before returning to the sidelines last fall in the NFL. He was ultimately fired as the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ coach after a 2-11 start.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Urban Meyer joins board of NIL nonprofit helping Ohio State players