Cashing in: UTC athletes poised to take advantage of Name, Image and Likeness rule

Mark Wharton has always understood the competition his programs are up against.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletic director knows that his programs don't recruit against so-called Power Five schools. So when the NCAA passed the Name, Image and Likeness rule that now allows collegiate athletes to profit off their own identity, it wasn't as if UTC was suddenly going to have the opportunity to steal athletes from the likes of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

For Mocs programs, the competition has always been mid-major, Division I teams in basketball and Group of Five/Football Championship Subdivision schools in football. Most schools at UTC's level don't have the resources to provide "cost of attendance" - a recently instituted NCAA rule that allows schools to provide more dollars for college athletes - and that's where NIL can benefit the school trying to bring in prep athletes or transfers.