Published on October 28th, 2017 | by Staples Soccer0
Grant Sirlin ’16 Revolutionizes College Sports
That headline may sound hyperbolic. But former Staples soccer player Grant Sirlin ’16 has found a way to help NCAA athletes make money related to their sports skills — something most people thought impossible.
And he’s done it with his longtime friend, University of Virginia classmate — and former freshman soccer player — Jared Vishno.
Their company — Division 1-On-1 — offers a way for younger boys and girls to receive personal training from college athletes. Though NCAA rules prevent student-athletes from being paid for work related to their “athletic reputation,” they can be paid on a “fee-for-lesson basis.”
However, a confusing mountain of requirements has made interpreting what’s legal and what’s not a full-time job for university compliance officers.
In addition, a prohibition on the use of an athlete’s identify for promotional purposes makes it very difficult for NCAA players to market themselves.
That did not stop Sirlin and Vishno (who after a strong freshman soccer season, decided to concentrate on basketball).
Last year, they figured out a way to work within NCAA regulations. They formed a business, and beat over 50 undergraduate and grad student start-ups to win UVa’s “Entrepreneurship Cup.”
Searching through the bylaws, the longtime friends created a viable business. Part of its success comes because Division 1-on-1 handles all the marketing itself. They focus on the athletes’ abilities as trainers, not their college sports reputations.
The company — still in beta mode — launches this spring. Perhaps one day soon, Sirlin will have a new client: another recent Staples soccer player.
(To read more in the University of Virgina Cavalier Daily, click here.)