Former Lady Raider chosen for WWE's new NIL program

·2 min read
Texas Tech forward Lexi Gordon (34) was the Lady Raiders' second-leading scorer last season with an average of 15.7 points per game. Gordon transferred to Duke and is one of 15 college athletes recently selected for World Wrestling Entertainment's new name, image and likeness program "Next In Line".
Texas Tech forward Lexi Gordon (34) was the Lady Raiders' second-leading scorer last season with an average of 15.7 points per game. Gordon transferred to Duke and is one of 15 college athletes recently selected for World Wrestling Entertainment's new name, image and likeness program "Next In Line".

Former Texas Tech basketball player Lexi Gordon is one of 15 college athletes recently selected by World Wrestling Entertainment to be part of the company's newly formed name, image and likeness program.

The WWE announcement described the 15 athletes from four sports as an inaugural class and said the program "provides a clear pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE."

"The comprehensive program serves to recruit and develop potential future Superstars and further enhances WWE's talent development process through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds," the announcement said.

Gordon, a 6-foot forward, averaged 13.0 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Lady Raiders during the 2019-20 season and 15.7 points and 4.8 rebounds last season. She transferred to Duke, where she's averaging 10.6 points this season on a team that's 8-1 and ranked No. 15 in The Associated Press Top 25.

WWE did not disclose financial terms of the agreements. The company is branding the program "Next In Line," a takeoff on the NIL acronym.

"All athlete partnerships will feature access to the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla.," the announcement said, "in addition to resources across the organization, including brand building, media training, communications, live event promotion, creative writing and community relations. Upon completion of the NIL program, select athletes may earn an exclusive opportunity to be offered a WWE contract."

Only two college wrestlers — A.J. Ferrari from Oklahoma State and Mason Parris from Michigan — are among the 15 athletes in the group. There are five football players, including 6-foot-10, 395-pound lineman John Krahn of Portland State and 6-9, 330-pound Dalton Wagner from Arkansas.

There are five track and field athletes and three women's basketball players: Gordon and Fresno State's Haley and Hanna Cavinder, the latter pair being two of the most prominent faces in the new era of college athletes legally profiting from their name, image and likeness.

The Cavinder twins, with millions of followers on social media, had endorsement deals with Boost Mobile, Gopuff and Six Star Pro Nutrition when the new rules took effect on July 1. Their deal with the wireless carrier was promoted with a billboard in Times Square.

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Name, image, likeness: Former Lady Raider Lexi Gordon chosen for WWE's NIL program

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