A new invitational tournament that will feature eight teams and NIL deal payouts is reportedly coming to college basketball next year.

The aforementioned competition is said to work like the NBA In-Season Tournament, as it will happen within the NCAA season. It will also reportedly give participating teams $1 million worth in NIL payouts and another $1 million for the team that goes all the way.

Auburn v LSU

The news was broken on X by Front Office Sports. The post has garnered nearly 700k views and 1.8k likes:

Front Office Sports added that the tournament will be called the “Players Era.” Just like the NBA IST, it will also be played in Las Vegas, at the MGM Arena.

How the NIL invitation tournament payouts would work

As previously mentioned, $1 million NIL will be given to each participating team in the tournament.

There will be eight teams in total duking it out in the fall, which will grow to 16 teams in 2025. The money will be distributed equally among the teams, and it will be their discretion how they do it as long aas the money goes to current players.

Here’s what the original report says on how the NIL money should be distributed:

“That money will be funneled to collectives, boosters or other NIL entities, and the coaches and teams will be able to distribute that money however they see fit, as long as the money goes to current players.


“The winning team will be eligible to earn another $1 million, to be distributed in the same way.”

The other $1 million NIL is the prize for winning the tournament itself, as per the original Front Office Sports report.

Who will be joining the NIL tournament?

The NIL tournament organizers are in talks with several of the nation’s biggest hoops programs, as well as some of the smaller ones, to seemingly balance things out.

These are the teams reportedly being considered:







San Diego State

St. Joe’s



Another school that’s not on the early list but is also reportedly being considered is Rutgers (via On3).

With the Scarlet Knights having the eight-best recruiting class in the nation, it could be an excellent way for the team to get top-ranked talent from across the country. They already have five-star recruits Airious “Ace” Bailey and Dylan Harper, the son of former Chicago Bull Ron Harper, as commits.

Edited by Bhargav