CINCINNATI — College athletes across the state and around the country are set to cash in on their name, image and likeness (NIL). 

High school seniors are taking the steps to be prepared to take advantage of the NCAA's new rules when they head to college.

What You Need To Know

  • College athletes can now benefit from NIL across the country

  • NIL opens a wide range of possibilities for earnings

  • Experts say female athletes could benefit the most from NIL

  • Ohio HS star KK Bransford is preparing already

There are a lot of things on Mount Notre Dame Rising Senior KK Bransford’s mind, including where she plans to go to college. 

She has narrowed it down to seven schools but is still undecided.

“Throughout this summer I’ve just been building relationships. I’ve (gone) on two official visits but that’s about it,” Bransford said.  

The reigning Ohio Ms. Basketball is also building a following on social media thanks to the success of her basketball career and the success of her team.

She led Mount Notre Dame to wins in 72 consecutive games, including two state championships. 

Bransford is excited to see a policy change for college athletes allowing them to profit from their name, image and likeness. 

“It’s a very great thing that they’re doing this with the NIL and just being able, they’re already using our name, image and likeness but now being able to get paid for it, it’s just so much better,” she said. 

The NCAA's new NIL policy applies to athletes in all 50 states.

“This is the most significant change to college sports since they started offering athletic scholarships for students,” said Luke Fedlam, president of Anomaly Sports Group. 

Fedlam is working with numerous universities to prepare programs and students to utilize this new market safely.

He said female athletes may have the chance to make the most of this new opportunity. 

“I think we’ll see women athletes, in a lot of different ways, because of their engaged following in social media and because of their athletic ability as well to be able to earn compensation in a name, image and likeness environment,” Fedlam said.

He said educating the student-athletes on all possibilities will be key. 

“Whenever money enters into a new area and you create a new industry or new opportunities, we already know that there are bad actors or other folks who want to take advantage of the situation,” Fedlam said. “So I really care to hope the education is there for student-athletes to help make sure that they’re not taken advantage of.” 

Bransford may not be able to capitalize on that just yet, but she’s already building on her strengths — starting her own workout page on Instagram. 

“Being able to kind of use the followers you have, the support you have, your family and all of that — just being able to learn how to market yourself I think that’s very important,” Bransford said. “And being able to do this now it’ll benefit you in the long run.” 

That makes her optimistic that she has a bright future ahead of her, on and off the court.

“It’s better to stay ready than having to get ready,” Bransford said.