Former Gopher Jamison Battle Got $150K NIL Contract in Transfer to Ohio State

Photo: Gopher Sports

The Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball team is being picked by most experts and sportsbooks to finish in the basement of the Big Ten conference again this season, which would make three years running for 3rd-year head coach, Ben Johnson.

Jamison Battle transfers for NIL cash

Not that they would have been favorites to win it all anyway, but when reports started to surface that their best wing player, Jamison Battle, was unlikely to return for his final season of eligibility, optimism became even harder to come by.

Back then, it was believed Battle was looking for a professional job in basketball. It was time to cash in on his talents, whether that meant a G-League job or something overseas. What we didn’t know at the time was that Jamison wouldn’t be leaving college basketball. Instead, he transferred to Big Ten rival, Ohio State.

We knew Battle was receiving NIL compensation soon after his Buckeye commitment was announced but we didn’t know how much he was due to rake in, at the time. All we knew was it had to be a lot more than anything the DeLaSalle product could’ve made by staying home.

NIL number at Ohio State revealed

Turns out, those assumptions were correct. According to local insider and longtime Pioneer Press columnist, Charley Walters, Jamison Battle is being paid a total of $150,000 to play for Ohio State this season through private “Name Image and Likeness” donors or some sort of NIL collective created by boosters and/or alumni. Walters even mentions that Battle would have been willing to stay at Minnesota had he been able to get more money here.

— Pssst: Two months ago, the Gophers men’s basketball team lost a star player to Ohio State, which, legally, is providing a $150,000 name, image and likeness (NIL) deal to the player. Insiders say he would have remained with Minnesota, but for a much richer NIL arrangement.

Charley Walters – Pioneer Press

It was announced earlier this year that alumni and boosters within the Gopher basketball program were starting a fundraising campaign that should increase NIL funds for both the men’s and women’s teams by hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few years.

If something like that would have been done sooner, Jamison Battle might still be taking classes in Dinkytown, and surrounded by a much more talented roster on the basketball court. Instead, he’ll wear “Ohio State” across his chest and do his best to push his hometown school deeper into the Big Ten gutter.

Who’s to blame?

And none of this is his fault. I can’t blame him for choosing the best opportunity financially, especially when it will give him a much greater shot at reaching the NBA and continuing his basketball career. On the surface, the University of Minnesota is to blame.

The administration, along with boosters, donors and alumni, fell predictably behind much of major college basketball in understanding how important NIL money would be to building a successful program. When you dig deeper into the issue — like I have in past blogs — the refusal to make major college athletes paid employees of the Universities they help make billions of dollars for, is what’s really at the root of this NIL madness.

But until the legal system forces something to happen with the root problem, the University of Minnesota athletic department, boosters and fans need to find a way to inject more cash into the Gophers’ NIL collective as quickly as possible.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan