Flyer Faithful LLC purchased real estate, which includes The Fieldhouse, a bar on Brown Street, in August 2020. The real estate also includes a rental property on Brown Street. The athletes will use their social media accounts to promote the availability of the rental property.
State Sen. Niraj Antani, R- Miamisburg, said the plan by Flyer Faithful LLC to compensate UD players is “exactly what we had in mind” when he and other lawmakers sponsored Ohio legislation to allow student athletes to profit from their likeness.
“It’s going to help the student-athlete, it’s going to help the business, and in turn, help our economy and the community,” he said. “This is exactly the type of thing we envisioned and I think we’re going to see more of this.”
Antani said he was happy, but not surprised, agreements are being made so quickly.
“There’s been a demand for this for a long time, it’s just not been legal,” he said.
Antani said the NCAA acted only after states pressed the issue. Laws in some states were set to change July 1 to allow college athletes to profit from their image, putting universities in other states at a recruiting disadvantage, he said.
An initial Ohio bill allowing student-athlete endorsement deals got scuttled, but Gov. Mike DeWine signed an executive order Monday. The measure was included as an amendment to state budget bill, which passed and was signed into law by DeWine early Thursday.
The amendment prohibits any college, university or intercollegiate athletic association from preventing a student athlete from competing for using their likeness to earn compensation. College athletes are allowed to engage with an agent, but are prohibited from entering into contracts where they will be associated with marijuana, alcohol, tobacco or casinos.
Matt Farrell, who was the director of basketball operations at UD from 2006-11 during Roberts’ career, is also a member of the Flyer Faithful LLC ownership group and a partner at 14fifty Partners. He praised Roberts’ leadership in a press release.
“The Dayton region is fortunate to have him as a meaningful stakeholder in our community,” Farrell said. “It is an exciting time for student-athletes across the country and we look forward to continuing to find ways to engage student-athletes at the University of Dayton.”
In an interview, Farrell called this an exciting time for college athletes across the country, especially in places like Dayton.
“Student-athletes play an important role in the community, and engaging with businesses is a great opportunity,” Farrell said.
Roberts was inducted into the UD Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017. He played five seasons in the NBA (2012-17) with the New Orleans, Charlotte and Portland. His overseas career has included stops in Israel, Germany, Greece and Spain.
“Since leaving the University of Dayton, myself, Jenna, and our family have remained close to the men’s basketball program and the athletic department,” Roberts said. “The same can be said for the Dayton community as many of my professional relationships have roots to my days of playing at UD Arena. Until we tip-off the 2021-22 season, this is but one small way to show our gratitude for what the University of Dayton means to our family. We look forward to having fans back in the stands, a sold out UD Arena, and countless memorable moments this season.”