Athlete from SWFL supports local company now that college athletes can be paid

Published: July 9, 2021 4:35 PM EDT
Updated: July 9, 2021 7:12 PM EDT

Now that college athletes can be paid for their name, image and likeness, many are choosing to cash in. That includes a student-athlete originally from Southwest Florida who has decided to support a local company and get paid before hitting the field this fall.

The landmark law allowing athletes to make money is changing the landscape of college sports.

With cameras flashing and the stroke of a pen, Peter Simmons III’s dreams came true. He’ll be playing football at Michigan.

“Once I put on that winged helmet and maize and blue, running out of the tunnel, smacking the banner, band going crazy, I just think that’s when it’s really going to set in for me,” Simmons said.

With another signature, Simmons will be able to take advantage of a recent change in college sports. He can now make money off of his own name, image and likeness. He is the first college athlete to sign an endorsement deal with Southwest Florida company My Shower Door.

Simmons’ job is to promote the company on his social media platforms.

“A lot of people don’t know the day in the life of a Division I athlete at a big Big Ten school, so that’s kind of what we planned,” Simmons said.

Simmons is among a growing number of college athletes nationwide who are signing endorsement deals. This is happening since the NCAA changed its rules after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of athletes, saying they have every right to make money.

In his decision, Justice Brett Kavanaugh said, “The NCAA is not above the law.”

“College athletes you know just always been grinding, so it’s just good that their hard work is finally being recognized,” Simmons said.

Critics fear this landmark decision will change college sports for the worse, not the better. Simmons disagrees with that notion.

“Everybody is not going to make the NFL. I mean that’s kind of a given. So this is going to give us help, build relationships in the professional world start reaching to lining up a job after college football,” Simmons said.