University of Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton just signed the most ironic NIL deal to date as his team is on probation for NCAA violations. The cannon-armed 23-year-old launched the ‘Milton Meal’ at McDonald’s on Friday.
Fans can purchase the combo at six restaurant locations in the Volunteer State. It consists of a Big Mac, medium Fry, large Sweet Tea and Sweet-n-Sour Sauce.
The partnership was facilitated by Sprye Sports Group, Tennessee’s top NIL arm. Meals can be purchased in Algood, Baxter, two locations in Cookeville and two locations in Crossville.
While there is some irony in a top-tier athlete promoting fast food, Milton is not the first football player to express his love for the Golden Arches. Take Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson, who vowed to give up McDonald’s if Marvin Harrison Jr. doesn’t win the Heisman Trophy.
The real irony lies with the Volunteers’ ongoing probation.
Joe Milton signed an NIL deal with McDonald’s.
Tennessee somehow avoided a bowl ban back in July after the NCAA Committee of Infractions found the program guilty of more than 200 individual violations, including 18 Level I violations. Although the current athletes and coaches don’t deserve to be punished for the actions of a previous regime, the penalty was extremely inconsistent when compared to other rulings in recent history.
Putting all of that aside, the Volunteers were penalized by the NCAA.
The football program is on probation for the next five years. It was fined $8 million and 11 wins from the 2019-20 seasons were vacated. Tennessee football will also lose 28 scholarships and 36 official visits over the course of probation.
Meanwhile, former head coach Jeremy Pruitt was hit with a six-year show cause order.
He was largely responsible for much of the shenanigans. This is where the Milton Meal comes into play.
Pruitt and the Vols were paying player illegally, before the NIL era. Some of those under-the-table agreements were paid in cash. Some of them were handed to athletes in fast food bags.
Either way— Pruitt and the Volunteers are forever linked to the Golden Arches.
And now Milton is partnered with McDonald’s through his Name, Image and Likeness. You can’t write it much better than that!