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Notre Dame Men’s Basketball: Irish Expected to Play in New NIL Tournament in 2024

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With the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team struggling to land a big man in the transfer portal, ND fans have been fairly justifiably worried about the Irish being able to compete on the men’s hardwood in the era of NIL.

Whether or not that’s true, at the very least it appears the Irish are working to find ways to earn NIL compensation for their current players, as Matt Norlander and Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported last night that Micah Shrewsberry’s team is one of seven schools who’ve agreed to play in a “revolutionary” regular season event this November.

Along with Alabama, Houston, Oregon, Rutgers, San Diego State, Texas A&M, and one team still to be named, the Irish will play in the “Players Era Festival” event, which will include $1 million participation payouts to each school’s NIL collective to be dispersed to the players, as well as the opportunity to win an additional $1 million via the tournament itself. Players will also have future opportunities through long-term NIL contracts and potential equity stakes in Players Era in perpetuity.

The format for this first year is not yet finalized, as event organizers are still working on whether it should be one big tournament or multiple 4-team events.

This is all being put on by New York production company EverWonder Studio and backed by RedBird International Media Investments, and is expected to take place in Las Vegas at one or multiple of MGM Resorts’ major venues over Thanksgiving weekend. Throughout the festivities of the weekend, the players will be required to participate in multiple off-court activities to earn their NIL money to ensure it’s not seen as a “pay-for-play” event.

Event organizers plan to increase the size of the event in 2025 and beyond, looking to double the amount of teams participating and include some huge names in college hoops such as Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan, Syracuse, and Virginia.

This looks like a fun event for the Irish to get involved in, not only to earn their players some NIL funds but also to play some strong non-conference competition and hopefully better prepare the team for the ACC schedule.

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