If a company wants to endow the Alabama starting quarterback position in exchange for a number of social media ads, that is a separate transaction that occurs once a player has signed with the school and earned the job.
"Our process leaves the recruitment and school decision largely as it is," Segal said, "and is just providing more information. A student has to assess where he or she wants to go to school. A coach has to assess who he or she wants to play on their team. And the school has to assess who they want to admit to the school. And StudentPlayer would have no involvement with that."
Most of StudentPlayer's pledges have been small, likely contributed by fans and alumni of schools. Somebody donated $9 toward Auburn's starting kicker. Northwestern's starting quarterback, to this point, is worth $99, far less than those with Toco's backing.
Non-football sports have received contributions, too. The players on the Minnesota-Mankato hockey team have been promised $110 to be spread equally among the roster.
On Dec. 13, 2019, Shane Drahota of Minnesota-Mankato's athletic compliance department sent StudentPlayer.com a letter.
"It has been brought to our attention that your website has the potential to lead to NCAA eligibility issues with our student-athletes," Drahota wrote. "As such, I am respectfully requesting that you remove all references to Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) and any student-athletes that represent MSU varsity athletic teams from your website."
Segal responded on StudentPlayer.com four days later. In some ways, it was clear, the site's proud founder could not help himself.
"A contribution made earlier this month was designated towards the future team members of MSU's men's ice hockey program," Segal wrote. "This is exciting news for your school and its athletic department! We are surprised because it seems you don't feel the same.
"Asking to have your university removed could be construed as an attempt to perpetuate the current system where student athletes benefit their school without the ability to earn compensation themselves. This model is bankrupt and we are not the only ones to think so." ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.