MARYLAND (DC News Now) – On Monday, the University of Maryland launched a NIL marketplace for its student-athletes.

“For our school to be able to support us in that manner, giving us opportunities to make money to support ourselves, our family members, it’s important to me, I know it’s important to a lot of other student-athletes as well,” says Maryland football player, Ruben Hyppolite II.

‘Maryland Marketplace’ is an online platform that has a profile for every current and former Maryland student-athlete. Fans, brands, and companies can directly book and pay athletes for activities using their name, image, and likeness (NIL).

The marketplace is powered by Opendorse, a platform where sports fans can request social posts, shoutouts, autographs, and appearances from their favorite professional athletes. Additionally, Maryland alumni who already had an account through Opendorse will also be promoted on Maryland Marketplace.

The NCAA adopted its Name, Image, and Likeness policy in 2021, which allowed athletes to earn financial compensation for their NIL, in accordance with each school’s state laws. This new policy has received a lot of hesitation from Universities across the country, but the Terps are backing their athletes, according to the University of Maryland’s Strategic Communications Officer, Jason Yellin.

“Our athletic director Damon Evans, has been at the forefront of saying that our student-athletes should be fairly compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness. It’s everything from building a brand to financial literacy, to helping them just flat out make money off of their NIL.”

Yellin also says that this platform will make it easier for student-athletes to take control of their own NIL deals and find more opportunities to make money while juggling school and their sport.

“Our student-athletes are students, they are athletes, and now they have to be entrepreneurs. This will make things a lot easier for them. We’re going to educate them on this as we work through everything.”

“I’ve done a few myself,” says Maryland volleyball player, Sam Csire who has already taken advantage of the platform. “I just talked to volleyball athletes from different high schools and talk about my journey, my injuries, kind of mental health, all of that stuff.”

As the student-athletes feel supported, in turn, the adaption of an NIL marketplace has helped coaches with their recruitment process, according to Maryland women’s soccer head coach, Meghan Ryan Nemzar.

“I think over 80% of my team is involved with something (NIL) they understand that you know, being a student-athlete is a 24/7 job. I think that really excites not only them but also the families.”

During the 2021-2022 school year, the University of Maryland had 550 student-athletes, and 313 of those student-athletes had NIL deals.

‘Maryland Marketplace’ also showcases inclusion in college sports, as every student-athlete is on display, and there is no focus on any specific sport.

“Females being able to do NIL deals is awesome,” says Csire. “It just shows that everyone’s equal and that everyone can be a good athlete or you don’t have to be a male to be a really good athlete, and so I think (women’s) basketball, volleyball, gymnastics all those sports can make a name for themselves.”