From the sidelines
By Marty Gordon
The NCAA changes its rules this past July to allow college athletes to make moola off their name, image and likeness (NIL), and many of those young men and women have signed endorsements deals that have come under much criticism.
But some of those individuals like Virginia Tech football player Luke Tenute have used a NIL for the good. He is giving all the proceeds from his deal with the online App Cameo to the Micah Backpack program.
This past week, he made good on that promise by presenting a check to organizers.
Micah’s Backpack, which is operated out of St Michael Lutheran Church in Blacksburg, provides direct food assistance for students who are experiencing food insecurity. Every Friday during the school year, the identified students receive a backpack filled with two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, snacks, juice and milk boxes, and an educational piece.
With Cameo, you can request personalized videos from thousands of stars with up to 24 -hour delivery. This includes Tenuta.
Thousands of actors, artists, and influencers have set their own rates for a Cameo video appearance. Cameo prices range from as low as $1 to as high as $15,000, depending on the celebrity.
100 percent of Tenuta’s endorsement monies go back to Micah’s Backpack.
Currently, 300 children in Blacksburg schools receive a gift of healthy food during the academic year and approximately 140 during the summer school break via Micah’s.
This past December, 3,848 backpacks were delivers with over 23,000 meals provided along with 54,398 items of food.
The 6-9, 320-pound Tenuta started 10 games this past season, nine at left tackle and one at right tackle. This past month, the Albermarle County Va. native declared for the NFL draft.
If other college athletes would follow Tenuta’s example, we would be much blessed.
For more information on Micah’s Backpack, check out http://www.micahsbackpack.org.
For more information on Cameo and Tenuta’s effort check out https://www.cameo.com.