Two years after USC abruptly disbanded its regional Trojan Clubs, sparking outrage among its alumni network, Student Body Right has plans to relaunch the clubs and build a fundraising network for name, image and likeness.
Student Body Right is the third-party collective that rankled university officials recently with its intent to pay Trojan football players.
Dale Rech, a co-founder of Student Body Right, confirmed to The Times that the new collective intends to convert the previously shuttered alumni clubs into individual chapters of the collective, each of which would operate independently under the umbrella of Student Body Right.
With that fundraising network in place, the collective’s proposed goal is to raise enough for every player on the USC football team to be paid $50,000 per year, according to a presentation viewed by The Times.
Details on how those payments would be distributed remain murky, but the presentation notes that Student Body Right intends to pair up position groups or individual players with an organization from “a roster of selected charities that represent diverse causes and will be viewed as inclusive and reflective of the values, varied interest, backgrounds and priorities of the players.” Players would then perform community service or take part in charitable work with those organizations to receive their NIL payments.
One box has already been checked in that regulatory process: The collective was recently approved for 501c3 status as a charitable organization in the state of Nevada, meaning donations would presumably be tax-deductible.
Student Body Right announced its arrival earlier this month, much to the chagrin of USC officials who warned a collective operating outside of the university’s purview could invite scrutiny if the NCAA decides to enforce its NIL policies. The two sides have not communicated much since.
That resentment has continued to simmer as Student Body Right moves forward intent on cutting its first NIL checks to Trojan football players by the start of the spring semester in January.
Relaunching the Trojan clubs is likely to dredge up past resentment of its own from USC alumni. Many expressed their discontent in June 2020 when, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university’s alumni association announced it was changing the structure of the long-standing regional alumni clubs.
At the time, leaders from 70 of the clubs penned a letter to USC President Carol Folt decrying that USC’s alumni association “grossly underestimated the breadth and intensity of alumni opposition to dissolving the regional alumni groups.”
Now Student Body Right is hoping they’ll channel that intensity into another endeavor, one that operates without university oversight.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.