Enter the next key figure in the NIL conversation: A third-party administrator.
An NCAA spokesperson said the Division I Council is "in the early stages of gathering feedback," on potentially pursuing a third-party administrator, among other NIL-related concepts. Legislation would be introduced by Nov. 1 and then voted on in January. Division II, meanwhile, has recommended pursuing a TPA.
The idea is that a TPA could potentially handle virtually all of the nuts and bolts, from having boilerplate contract language for common types of transactions to tracking payment amounts for tax, reporting and monitoring purposes and much more.
Here is the student-athlete empowerment behind NIL reform, along with the cost. Athletes can put some money in their pockets while also putting the ball in schools' hands and incentivizing them to help educate student-athletes on how to operate in this corner of the business world. It's also about using college to begin building something that perhaps will be a revenue source long after a playing career ends.
The money — whether it comes in gobs or in strikingly small increments — will mean different things to different people.
For some, it might mean sending a couple hundred bucks home to help parents get by. For others, it might just be a simple side hustle. There are thousands of college athletes, too, either paying their own way through school or on partial scholarship.
Take Nebraska senior center fielder Joe Acker, for example. NCAA baseball programs get 11.7 scholarships to break up among their rosters. Acker says none of the 42 players listed on the Huskers' roster currently have all their school expenses paid for.
"I don't think for baseball players that we're talking about a crazy amount of money (from NIL) or anything, but it can definitely help with little expenses here and there," Acker said. "We have partial scholarships and some kids are paying out-of-state tuition, so anything will help. … Most of us are having to pay for room and board and meals and stuff like that, so even if you could pay for your food or you could pay for your food and groceries for a semester, it would save guys thousands of dollars, especially the out-of-state guys.
"Depending on how things are back at home — and again, that's a point to recruiting, where coaches can say, 'You might be able to make enough money to provide for your family back home or send money back home with what we can do here to build your brand.'"
But it will take time and effort and resources in the already busy lives of college athletes, too.
"It's a double-major," Lawrence said. "It's the concept that you can go to college and get one degree, or you can get two. If you want to come out on top of NIL, it's as if you're taking on another major and that major is entrepreneurship, if you will.
"And you are the product."
Acker knows there's work involved, but he thinks the coming legislation will mean a whole new world for his teammates and college athletes everywhere.
"Right now, it just seems like the possibilities are endless," he said.