NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – We’ve come a long way from the days, not so long ago, when college student-athletes could get in trouble for getting a second helping of spaghetti at a team event. 

Thanks to the relatively new Name Image and Likeness rules, or NIL, student athletes are able to financially profit off themselves while in college. 

“It’s important and it can really change lives,” said Jeremiah Hall, Crimson and Cream Advisory Board member and former OU football player. “NIL deals make student athletes a little bit more comfortable and are able to help their families, maybe with a few bills here and there… The college world is changing, and this is where we’re at now.”

On Monday, Crimson and Cream Collective, an approved NIL partner of the University of Oklahoma, announced it wrapped up its 30-day campaign and raised $1,660,892 to support Sooner student-athletes. 

According to a press release, 1,848 donors pitched in a combined $830,446, and a single donor matched that dollar for dollar with another $830,446.  

“We’ll be able to deploy those funds over the course of the next year, plus to engage with student athletes to do various things, including community service events, being able to interact with fans,” said Jason Belzer, Crimson and Cream’s CEO. 

However, to stay competitive with other schools, OU will likely need to start raising significantly more money.

“There are collectives that have at least set goals of raising five to $10 million and of course, that’s annually,” said Kelli Masters, the Founder and President of KMM Sports. “It’s become very, very critical for schools to be able to be competitive and to raise, again, millions of dollars sometimes in order to be competitive now in recruiting athletes.”

Belzer told KFOR on Monday he’d ideally like to see the Sooners bringing in anywhere between seven to ten million dollars for NIL on a yearly basis. 

“You don’t want to be raising money when your team is dead last in the conference and now, you’re trying to catch up,” said Belzer. 

He added that it’s important to remember that Crimson and Cream Collective isn’t the only provider of NIL for the Sooners and any business in the state of Oklahoma can partner with the student-athletes directly. 

Belzer said they’re still accepting donations. Fans can subscribe to Crimson and Cream by visiting crimsoncreamcollective.com.