A week after announcing a $200 million facilities project, the Texas Tech football team got another boost Monday when the Matador Club, a local collective, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that it will sign 100 Red Raiders players to one-year, $25,000 NIL contracts.
The deal will be for all 85 scholarship players plus 15 of Texas Tech's walk-ons, according to Cody Campbell, an oil and gas executive who is a member of the Matador Club board of directors and a former Texas Tech offensive lineman.
Campbell said that players will be expected to do community service and charitable work in the Lubbock area, and that payments will start to go out the first week of August.
"Collectives have done things a number of different ways," Campbell told the newspaper. "You see some of them paying large amounts to individual players. You see others doing different things. But what we want to do, really, is support the entire program. This is kind of a base salary for the guys. They're not going to be restricted from doing any other NIL stuff with anybody else. In fact, we're going to encourage and help them to do that."
On Sunday, first-year Red Raiders coach Joey McGuire hinted at the arrangement and told reporters at the Texas High School Coaches' Association convention that NIL has the potential to disrupt locker rooms as incoming freshmen or prized recruits might land bigger deals than current starters.
"It's not at Texas Tech," McGuire said. "Because I don't believe in that. I don't believe that you can have somebody come in that's never taken a snap in red and black ... I don't understand that. That's not going to be us. There's gonna be a pretty big deal coming from Texas Tech where we create some equality in our locker room. And I think that's important."
According to Texas law, schools cannot be involved in NIL deals, so the Matador Club is an outside organization. Campbell said the club hired an NCAA attorney when it was setting up the collective and that it will adhere to NCAA rules that NIL deals not serve as recruiting inducements.
"That's a rule a lot of people are breaking," Campbell said. "We're absolutely not going to do it. We're not going to play that game. Now, I'm certain that when every player on our roster gets $25,000, it's going to become known that Texas Tech has a good NIL program that'll be appealing to recruits, but we're not going to make any promises on the front end. We're not going to break any rules."
McGuire said Sunday that coaches are still learning the impact of NIL and that it's going to be interesting seeing whether it will cause friction in locker rooms.
"There's gonna be a lot of coaches that are going to have to deal with that," McGuire said. "There's going to be some recruits that haven't played. Maybe your left tackle has been starting for you has this [deal] and this recruit has this. I'm not gonna have to do it at Texas Tech. We're not going to do it."
The Matador Club said the payments will be made monthly and will be renewable annually. And Campbell said football is just the first step.
"The Matador Club has been funded by private donors," Campbell said. "We've gotten to a point where we've done pretty well and so we're ready to sign the contracts with the football team. We plan to move forward with [men's] basketball and baseball in the next weeks, months to come."