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Apr 5, 2024 5:06 pm

Purdue’s Zach Edey, two-time POY, ineligible for NIL as international student

Zach Edey

GLENDALE, Ariz. — For the third consecutive year, the NCAA men’s basketball National Player of the Year is ineligible to cash in on Name, Image and Likeness endorsements.

Purdue’s Zach Edey, voted national player of the year for in 2023 and 2024, followed Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe in being named the best in college basketball yet unable to benefit financially from the dawning of the NIL era in college sports.

“I hope they change it in the future,” Edey said Friday as Purdue prepared for the Final Four.

“I obviously have lost out on a lot of money this year. At the end of the day it needs to change, for sure. I understand kind of the legal process, it takes a while. It’s not like it’s an NCAA rule; it’s an American law. Anytime you try to go change that, I understand it takes a while. But I do think it needs to change.”

Edey is from Toronto, Canada, and Tshiebwe hails from Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Edey led college basketball in scoring this season. Tshiebwe was consensus player of the year in 2022 and was just named NBA G-League Rookie of the Year with Indianapolis.

Edey said he’s able to make money on sales of his jersey.

“I’ll try to do some stuff when I can. When I’m back in Toronto, I’ll try to do some stuff,” Edey said.

“Obviously I can still do jersey sales and stuff while I’m here, that passive income stuff. It’s not like I can go film a commercial in West Lafayette. I don’t think I’m really the best person to ask about that.”

Women’s reigning national player of the year Caitlin Clark has a reported $4 million in total NIL value through agreements with H&R Block, Hy-Vee Grocery, Gatorade, State Farm and others. UConn star Paige Bueckers was the first college athlete signed to an NIL agreement by Gatorade and has multiple deals, too.

Recent men’s college basketball household names such as Gonzaga All-American Drew Timme, left college with deals approaching $1 million. Timme, the often mustachioed big man, had an exclusive agreement with Dollar Shave Club and a Washington casino.

Tshiebwe met with Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell in 2022 in an effort to convince Congress to overhaul a policy that bars college athletes on an F-1 student visa from participating in NIL without risking their immigration status. The same legislation prevents students on the F-1 visa from any type of off-campus job.

“I’m a basketball player at the end of the day,” Edey said Friday. “That’s really what I’m focused on. Especially when I can’t even make the NIL deals, I don’t want to hear about them, to be honest.”

–Field Level Media

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