Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum made a fantastic argument for NIL deals Sunday. Linderbaum donated $30,000 in NIL earnings to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.
Linderbaum's mother, Lisa, posted a picture of Tyler standing outside the hospital holding an oversized check for $30,000.
Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum donates $30,000 from his NIL earnings to the Iowa children’s hospital. Wow. The value of NIL comes in many forms. https://t.co/uQtROXrM6H
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) December 19, 2021
The hospital has special importance to Iowa football players. The facility is located right next to Iowa's football stadium. Kids can look out the hospital window and watch Iowa games. In 2017, the team started a tradition in which fans and players wave to kids watching from the hospital.
Linderbaum, an All-American, won the Rimington Trophy after another excellent year with Iowa. The junior center is expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft if he declares.
College compensation was source of controversy for years
For years, critics argued against NIL deals for college athletes. Some — like former president Barack Obama — said paying college players would "ruin" the college game. Obama eventually reversed course, saying athletes produce a ton of revenue for universities.
The NCAA finally allowed NIL deals so athletes could profit from their name, image and likeness. A number of players signed NIL deals. Linderbaum is far from the first to donate a portion of his NIL deal.