Haley Cavinder (L) and Hanna Cavinder announce endorsements with Boost Mobile via Icon Source on July 01, 2021 in New York City. Their announcement comes following a decision by the NCAA to allow collegiate athletes to earn income based on their name, image and likeness (NIL). (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

There’s been a lot of talk recently about women athletes and NIL money. The New York Times did a rather unflattering article titled “New Endorsements for College Athletes Resurface an Old Concern: Sex Sells.” The article quoted Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer, one of the most successful coaches in women’s college basketball, as “This is a step back.” But why? Here’s my take. College athletes have a very short period of time to make money off their skill. Very few have a chance to take their chosen sport to a professional level. In the case of women’s sports, even if they go pro, the compensation may not be much. So when a female athlete takes advantage of NIL endorsements, why is a multi-millionaire coach saying it’s not right?

Olivia Dunne is the highest paid female college athlete in the nation according to on3.com. The 20 year-old LSU gymnast reportedly has an NIL valuation of $2.3 million. The article pointed her out, even using the word ‘regressive’. Instructor and former professional golfer Paige Spiranac had the best take on that:

There’s the double standard. The Times isn’t talking about the male athletes showing off their physique to the camera.

So with all the talk about Olivia Dunne lately, what about some of the other women who are benefitting from NIL? A college athlete making 6 figures has become common. Like the Cavinder twins, who play basketball for Miami each made the list on their own. Now it looks like they made need to choose between the WNBA or WWE for their next career move. NIL is providing opportunities that simply did not exist before.

Let’s take a look at the The Top 10 Female Athlete NIL Valuations based on on3 rankings.

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