‘I would have made some coin, that’s for sure’: Former UK athletes react to NIL bill

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 2:05 PM CDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Starting Thursday college athletes in the state of Kentucky can get paid for their name, image and likeness.

Former UK linebacker Kash Daniel believes his marketing skills during his playing days could have made him some cash.

“I would have made some coin that’s for sure. I would have been living good in college,” Daniel said.

Although he received a $1,500 a month stipend during his time, Daniel is happy the current players can get more.

“It’s an exciting time for these kids that they can make money off their name, image and likeness just like coaches do. Not taking away from the coaches but they’re not the ones on the field cracking heads, taking all the hits and getting in the end zone and things like that,” Daniel said.

Cameron Mills played basketball for UK from 1994-1998 and has two national championship rings. But at the time, he says he didn’t know his worth.

“I didn’t know what it was. I know what it was after I got done playing ball,” Mills said.

He says soon after helping win the 1998 national championship, he joined some teammates to make some cash.

“Within three days Jeff Shepherd, Allen Edwards and I were doing autographs sessions both public and private for $3,500 an hour,” Mills said.

Both Daniel and Mills believe there could be some pitfalls when it comes paying college athletes.

“If you would have gave me $30,000 straight up front as a junior in college, as a senior in college, I would have had some people around me to make sure I was making the right financial decisions. Which I hope and pray to God these kids get,” Daniel said.

“What worries me is that how many athletes are going to out take the money and not fulfill their end of the obligation because the university wouldn’t do that. They would fulfill their end of the obligation or there would be a lawsuit,” Mills said.

It’s a new era in college athletics, and now you could watch your favorite athletes score and seconds later be in a commercial.

After his playing days, Mills was a part of a name, image and likeness lawsuit against a video game company, where he was awarded $949.

Daniel says if he got paid during his time he would have set up a charity to help the people of eastern Kentucky.

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