The expenditures by Ohio State signal a pivotal moment in the evolution of college football’s emerging free agency.

A rivalry-driven competition is unfolding, not within any professional sports league, but between the football programs of Michigan and Ohio State. This highlights the rapid and profound changes in the economic landscape of college sports. Following Michigan’s victory in the College Football Playoff, reports suggest that Ohio State is investing a substantial sum, potentially between $10 million and $13 million in name, image, and likeness (NIL) funds, to retain and recruit key players. Although these figures are not officially confirmed, the fervor surrounding the Buckeyes has gained significant attention, drawing interest from The Wall Street Journal, Lane Kiffin, head coach of Ole Miss, and fans nationwide. Former Buckeye and current Houston Texans quarterback CJ Stroud has also emerged as a “major donor,” contributing to the school’s efforts as it prepares for the upcoming season.

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