University of Miami quarterback D'Eriq King, one of the first student-athletes taking advantage of new NCAA rules allowing college players to receive compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness, told Newsmax Tuesday the new rule is important because it will allow athletes to earn money and have opportunities they have not had until now.
"I understand we are getting a free education, and we appreciate that; don't get mixed up that we were very appreciative of getting a free education," the standout senior said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America."
However, he stressed that college athletes like himself play football "year-round, pretty much. We get three weeks off all year."
King signed his deal with the company College Hunks Hauling Junk, a full-service company that provides moving, junk removal, labor, and donation pick-up services. Company CEO Omar Solomon told Newsmax that King signed his deal with the company at 12:01 a.m., just as the NCAA rule came into play.
"D'Eriq embodies our company's core values," said Solomon. "If you spend a few minutes with him, you can tell right away who he is. He's a hard worker, he's got a lot of grit, and he's really sort of a testament to our company and our core values in our company's purpose to move the world."
King said he was "super excited" to sign the deal, particularly after looking into Solomon's company, and he thinks he is a good fit with the company's values and in building leadership.
Solomon commented that the NCAA ruling is "huge" not only for college athletes but for smaller companies like his, as it allows them to gain awareness and get more clients while boosting employee recruitment.
"This really ushers in a new era of brands being able to connect with consumers and employees in a different way and through a different medium," said Solomon. "This is going to be huge. It's huge for smaller businesses because it makes it a little bit more accessible in terms of budget and other reasons, and then it makes it big for huge companies as well who are looking for blue-chip student-athletes to represent their brand."
Meanwhile, King and his fellow Hurricanes teammates have been bringing food, water, dry socks, and more to search and rescue workers who have been digging through the rubble for almost two weeks at the Surfside condominium collapse.
"I think it's very important for us to give back any way we can," he said. "It was super sad ... I'm super sad and pray for those families and hope they can get good news."
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