COLUMN: Dinkytown Athletes NIL collective, Logan Cooley returns + moving out

–> With Gophers hockey stars Logan Cooley, Bryce Brodzinski, Justen Close + many more all announcing their returns, I thought it would be a great time to talk about Minnesota’s NIL collective and why moving continues to be the worst.

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Logan Cooley and Bryce Brodzinski return

I will be the first to admit that I am not a big hockey guy. I have probably watched more hockey games live and on TV this year than the rest of my life combined, so this will not be a detailed breakdown of why so many Gophers opting to return is great for their hockey team next season. It is pretty obvious why a Hobey Baker award finalist and top-3 NHL draft pick opting to return to Dinkytown is massive for the program, but I think it has a much wider impact. Cooley’s return was first announced by the University of Minnesota’s official NIL collective Dinkytown Athletes. DTA has been around since about this time last year, but it wasn’t until March they became the official NIL collective of the University. Basically, this announcement showed me that Cooley will be compensated next season with enough NIL money that it makes financial sense for him to forgo a million-dollar NIL contract. This is a huge step for the Gophers and their NIL, across all sports. Cooley might be the biggest athlete on campus next year, so convincing him to come back for another season is great for the University as a whole.

Dinkytown Athletes

Last week I was able to talk with one of the co-founders of Dinkytown Athletes, Robert Gag.

NIL has dominated the talk of college sports, ever since it was officially allowed in the summer of 2021. There have been a lot of rumors and reports of multi-million dollar deals across the country and I have thought it has always seemed like a lot of people have just been un-informed on the topic. It was very interesting to get the perspective from someone like Robert who knows more details about the business. My biggest takeaway from our conversation was that Minnesota is going to be fine it will just take time. A major thing that fans often talk about it, is where is the billionaire donor, or major cooperation like General Mills to donate NIL funds to UMN. Gag realizes this should be discussed and talked about, but he also realized it won’t happen overnight. Minnesota is not an SEC school or Miami (FL) and it never will be. The structure of Dinkytown Athletes (DTA) provides a way for fans to help invest in their favorite programs and players, which is a great thing that NIL has and will provide. Billionaires and major cooperations are successful for a reason and they won’t throw millions of dollars around to things that they’re unfamiliar with. DTA and the people behind it have a system in place that will build credibility and trust, it will just take time. So in the meantime, if you’re a Gophers fan reading this the most simple thing you can do is donate to Dinkytown Athletes to help.

Moving out of your college house

Anyone that has been following me would know that I officially graduated from college about 10 days ago. With that, I officially moved out of my college house in Dinkytown along with nine other roommates. I will not be as long-winded as I was last week, but I just wanted to say that living with nine other college guys in a massive 100-year-old house in Dinkytown was about as fun as anyone could’ve hoped. Despite the acceptance of living in filth 80% of the time, it is two years of life that you will be impossible to replicate; the Sunday afternoons watching NFL Sunday Ticket in the living room, the Saturday morning die games in the backyard, and 1,000s of  DoorDash orders. While all of the good times were certainly worth it, moving out and cleaning an eight-bedroom college house is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. You have not truly cleaned or seen a dirty house until you go through that experience.

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