Purdue’s Zach Edey laments NIL rules regarding foreign players: ‘It needs to change’

Purdue men’s basketball star Zach Edey became a two-time AP Player of the Year award winner ahead of the team’s Final Four matchup against N.C. State Saturday night.

But Edey feels his profile and his wallet could have been padded a bit more this season with name, image and likeness deals. 

Because he’s from Canada, he’s not legally allowed to have any NIL deals in the U.S. Any NIL deals he receives would have to be in Canada or when the team travels internationally.

Zach Edey talks to reporters

Purdue center Zach Edey speaks with reporters ahead of a Final Four game in the NCAA Tournament Thursday, April 4, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. N.C. State plays Purdue Saturday. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The 7-foot-4 center said Friday he thinks U.S. laws have to change after “missing out on a lot of money.”

“I hope they change it in the future,” Edey, who is at Purdue on a student visa, told reporters, via ESPN. “I obviously have lost out on a lot of money this year. At the end of the day, it needs to change, for sure. I understand kind of the legal process. It takes a while.

“It’s not like it’s an NCAA rule. It’s an American law. Anytime you try to go change that, I understand it takes a while. But I do think it needs to change.”


Zach Edey blocks a shot

Purdue center Zach Edey (15) blocks a shot by Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht (3) during the second half of an Elite Eight game in the NCAA Tournament March 31, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Gonzaga Bulldogs star Ryan Nembhard of Canada expressed similar sentiments earlier in the men’s basketball tournament. He said he couldn’t really earn NIL money because of his status.

Nembhard’s teammate, Luka Krajnovic from Croatia, also expressed hope for change.

“I think it’s been a struggle for all the internationals that come to play in the states. I think that problem will fix by itself, and there’s a lot of people working on it. For now, I’m just focusing on basketball. That stuff doesn’t matter to me,” he said, via The Spokesman-Review.

Boilermakers center Will Berg, who is 7-foot-2, is also in the same boat as Edey. He’s from Sweden.

Zach Edey looks on

Purdue center Zach Edey practices ahead of a Final Four game in the NCAA Tournament Friday, April 5, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina State plays Purdue. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

For now, Purdue will have to focus on trying to get to the national championship game.

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