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Former NFL QB Christian Ponder says NIL education is crucial for college athletes

Christian Ponder
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Former NFL quarterback Christian Ponder never had NIL while at Florida State, but what he lacked with dollars in his pocket, he made up with wisdom for the next generation of college athletes.

Ponder, 35, caught up with Todd Grasley in a recent Twitter video posted by The Players NIL and was asked his thoughts on name, image and likeness, and the importance of education for athletes involved.

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“[NIL education] is super important especially now, a lot of these athletes are getting so much money in their hands at a very early age and it’s hard to know what the smart decisions are,” Ponder said. “The educational component is important, especially because you have the chance to set yourself up for life and make investments in yourself and your future, so you want to spend it wisely. NIL is the Wild West.”

A common thread among many in the space agree that NIL has become an “NIL free agency” platform with athletes able to go wherever they are offered the most opportunity and money. Ponder says it also adds an extra layer of pressure for these athletes so early on in their career.

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“I think the pressure to live up to expectations with some of these checks being written, it gets complicated now and they’re really professional athletes at the age of 18,” Ponder said.

In 2022, Ponder founded The Post, a membership-based leadership network designed specifically for athletes after their professional career concludes.