United Wholesale Mortgage, the company owned and operated by former MSU basketball player Mat Ishbia, announced it will be providing a $500 monthly stipend for MSU men’s basketball and football players for the 2021-22 season.
The players will receive a total of $6,000 over the year, regardless of position. The stipend will be provided to 133 athletes in total.
“The Spartan family sticks together, and that’s what makes MSU athletics so special,” Ishbia said in the press release. “Each player contributes to the team in a positive way and we’re excited to help support them, while also helping educate consumers about the benefits of independent mortgage brokers.”
Ishbia, who was a walk-on on the 2000 national championship for MSU, donated a record $32 million to MSU athletics in February. That donation is separate from the player stipend, according to the press release, and will be used to fund the other parts of the program such as the A Spartan for Life Fund.
The player stipend would not have been allowed before July of this year when the NCAA changed its player compensation rules to allow student-athletes to sign endorsement deals on their own Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).
This rule changes a lot for the student-athletes who were unable to make money off of their athletic talent prior to this rule change. For someone like former MSU star Mateen Cleaves, who now works as a leadership coach at UWM, the former star point guard and national champion could have made a huge splash in the NIL era and is excited for what MSU athletes can now do.
“I was a star athlete and having access to resources like this would have made a huge difference in my career in a very positive way,” Cleaves said in the release. “What UWM is doing for these Spartan athletes is unprecedented, and aligns closely with what Coach (Tom) Izzo and MSU taught us, which is to always take care of our family.”
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