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Michigan State football, men's basketball players to each get $6,000 yearly stipends

Former Michigan State men’s basketball players Mateen Cleaves, left, and Mat Ishbia laugh as they are introduced with the Spartans’ 2000 national championship team at halftime of the MSU-Florida game in East Lansing on Dec. 12, 2015. (AP file photo)

By ED WHITE

Associated Press

DETROIT — A suburban Detroit mortgage company led by a former Michigan State walk-on will pay $500 a month to all football players and members of the men’s basketball team.

The sponsorship by Mat Ishbia and United Wholesale Mortgage will provide more than 130 MSU athletes with $6,000 a year. The NCAA in July said athletes could be paid for their name, image or likeness, now referred to as NIL.

“Each player contributes to the team in a positive way and we’re excited to help support them, while also helping educate consumers about the benefits of independent mortgage brokers,” Ishbia said in a statement released Wednesday.

The athletes will be paid for social media posts promoting career opportunities at the company, official Nicole Yelland said.

Women’s basketball is not included, although the program could expand.

“We’re going to walk before we run with this,” Ishbia said in a statement. “This was the first step to understand the NIL process, but we’re always looking at different ways we can help out Spartan athletes.”

Ishbia was a walk-on member of Michigan State’s 2000 national championship basketball team. Three former teammates, including star guard Mateen Cleaves, work at his company.