“WWE signs Olympic gold medalist and reigning NCAA wrestling champion Gable Steveson to an exclusive agreement.
In the company’s first-ever NIL deal, Steveson will join the WWE roster while defending his NCAA title for the University of Minnesota.”
NIL is essentially shorthand for “name, image, likeness.” NIL compensation for college athletes has been a hot topic for a long time and finally saw a dramatic overhaul earlier this summer.
ESPN explains what the next year looks like for Steveson in their report on his multi-year deal with WWE:
“The 21-year-old signed a NIL deal with WWE that will allow him to attend the University of Minnesota for his senior year and defend the Division I national championship at heavyweight. WWE will set up a remote training facility for Steveson near campus where he’ll learn the finer points of in-ring work with WWE coaches.
He’ll also have access to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, where his brother, Bobby Steveson, currently trains. After Gable Steveson graduates in May, his multiyear talent contract with WWE will begin; he’ll be a full-time performer with the company (but also appear on WWE programming during the school year).”
Steveson celebrated the big news on Twitter:
Childhood dream accomplished.. I have officially signed with the @WWE!!! Thank you for the opportunity!! LETS WORK— Gable Steveson (@GableSteveson) September 9, 2021
Congrats to Gable Steveson on making his dreams come true!