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The Crimson White Print Edition - August 24, 2023

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4A<br />

news<br />

continued from 1A — rent prices<br />

However, during<br />

the moratorium, some<br />

apartment complexes<br />

were approved for<br />

construction by the City<br />

Council; for example, one<br />

is under construction<br />

in north Tuscaloosa and<br />

another, Union on Frank,<br />

was built near Bryant-<br />

Denny Stadium. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

buildings would have<br />

violated the rules of the<br />

moratorium. However,<br />

the construction permits<br />

were granted prior to the<br />

passing of the ban.<br />

City Council President<br />

Kip Tyner said that the<br />

moratorium will be helpful<br />

in the long run.<br />

“It has worked<br />

extremely well,” Tyner said<br />

in an email statement.<br />

“It was primarily aimed<br />

at developments farther<br />

away from campus. Many<br />

of these complexes, such<br />

as down Old Greensboro<br />

Avenue near Shelton State,<br />

had seen increases<br />

in crime.”<br />

While students<br />

may worry about the<br />

availability of housing as<br />

the out-of-state student<br />

population has grown,<br />

the city has recognized<br />

the expansion of student<br />

housing by developers as<br />

a problem for low-earning<br />

Tuscaloosa residents.<br />

“This trend has caused<br />

developers to build multifamily<br />

products that are<br />

more student-oriented<br />

rather than traditional<br />

multi-family housing due<br />

to being able to receive a<br />

higher value of return,” the<br />

city stated in its 2020-20<strong>24</strong><br />

consolidated action plan<br />

for housing.<br />

<strong>The</strong> plan examined<br />

the housing market in<br />

Tuscaloosa, among other<br />

things, and included a<br />

plan to increase affordable<br />

housing availability, which<br />

the city said was lacking.<br />

All these apartments know<br />

that we don’t have any<br />

options, so they’re taking<br />

advantage of that. Me and<br />

my friends all think the<br />

same thing.<br />

Sydney Davis<br />

UA Senior<br />

According to the<br />

consolidated action plan,<br />

as developers have focused<br />

more on high-earning<br />

large student housing<br />

complexes, rental prices<br />

have been skewed upward.<br />

Consequently, the city has<br />

been left without adequate<br />

affordable housing for its<br />

lowest-earning residents.<br />

As far as the future<br />

of on-campus housing<br />

options, the University has<br />

more than enough space<br />

to accommodate<br />

incoming freshmen.<br />

Alex House, assistant<br />

director of communications<br />

for the University, said there<br />

are around 8,700 beds in<br />

campus residence halls.<br />

Leased beds at East Edge<br />

apartments bring the total to<br />

Tuscaloosa's average<br />

rent was lower than the<br />

national average of $2,062<br />

in July <strong>2023</strong>. However,<br />

Tuscaloosa’s July <strong>2023</strong><br />

year-over-year rent price<br />

growth rate was over twice<br />

the national average of<br />

3.57%.<br />

East Edge, one apartment complex raising its rent prices. CW / Natalie Teat<br />

around 9,300 available beds.<br />

Currently, there are no<br />

plans to build any more<br />

residence halls.<br />

As the University<br />

continues to grow, some<br />

students are pessimistic<br />

about the future of rental<br />

prices in Tuscaloosa.<br />

“I feel like it’s definitely<br />

going to get worse,” Davis<br />

said. “All these apartments<br />

know that we don’t have<br />

any options, so they’re<br />

taking advantage of that.<br />

Me and my friends all<br />

think the same thing.”<br />

Bella Martina<br />

Assistant Sports Editor<br />

Looking to the future of Yea Alabama<br />

“Long overdue,”<br />

“experiential” and<br />

“innovative” are the words<br />

Yea Alabama Executive<br />

Director Jay McPhillips<br />

used to describe college<br />

athletes’ ability to make<br />

money off their name,<br />

image and likeness.<br />

<strong>The</strong> policy has made its<br />

debut in college athletics<br />

in 2021 and has forced<br />

universities to grow along<br />

with it, including the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide.<br />

<strong>The</strong> creation of the<br />

school’s NIL entity, Yea<br />

Alabama, has allowed for<br />

the future of NIL to remain<br />

steady on campus. With<br />

the program continuing<br />

to grow, Yea Alabama has<br />

much in store for its fans,<br />

athletes, and donors this<br />

year and forward.<br />

Yea Alabama, Alabama’s NIL program, has much planned for students fans and athletes this fall and forward. Courtesy of Yea Ala-<br />

We are just as proud to<br />

represent the Script A,<br />

and with NIL legislation<br />

it gives the perfect<br />

platform to pursue bigger<br />

opportunities, create a<br />

brand for ourselves and<br />

ultimately inspire the<br />

next generation of NCAA<br />

women’s athletes.<br />

Luisa Blanco<br />

Alabama Gymnast<br />

So far on Yea Alabama’s<br />

website, fans have the<br />

chance to pay for monthly<br />

subscriptions ranging<br />

from $18 to $250 a month.<br />

However, starting this<br />

fall, Yea Alabama is<br />

introducing a student<br />

membership that will<br />

be $5 a month or $50<br />

annually. <strong>The</strong> subscription<br />

will be available for<br />

students enrolled at<br />

Alabama, to promote more<br />

on-campus support.<br />

“Supporting Yea<br />

Alabama is the most<br />

direct and effective way in<br />

giving our sports teams a<br />

competitive advantage on<br />

the field and on the court,”<br />

McPhillips said.<br />

Membership holders<br />

will get access to special<br />

events, as well as a<br />

discount card that can<br />

be used at several local<br />

businesses on and around<br />

campus. <strong>The</strong> objective is<br />

to work throughout the<br />

year to create engagement<br />

opportunities for students<br />

to interact with their fellow<br />

student-athletes to get to<br />

know the teams better.<br />

Another addition<br />

Alabama is introducing<br />

this semester is <strong>The</strong><br />

Advantage Center that<br />

will be located inside of<br />

Bryant-Denny Stadium.<br />

Created by the sports<br />

marketing company<br />

Learfield, <strong>The</strong> Advantage<br />

Center will serve as a<br />

space for student-athletes<br />

to conduct NIL business.<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide athletes<br />

can use the space for<br />

everything from brand<br />

meetings and autographs,<br />

to podcasts or radio<br />

appearances. This space<br />

is set to open fall <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

while details on the exact<br />

release date are yet to<br />

be announced.<br />

With all these big<br />

plans in the works, Yea<br />

Alabama Director of<br />

Content Aaron Suttles says<br />

educating more people<br />

about the policy is one of<br />

the organization’s biggest<br />

objectives for the year.<br />

“NIL’s impact on<br />

collegiate sports can’t<br />

be ignored,” Suttles said.<br />

“If athletic departments<br />

aren’t helping maximize<br />

student-athletes’<br />

opportunities, then they’re<br />

missing out. While there’s<br />

no uniformity to it, it is<br />

the present and future.”<br />

Athletes across<br />

campus have already<br />

felt the impact of NIL<br />

as well. Senior gymnast<br />

Luisa Blanco, currently<br />

working her way toward<br />

the Olympics, believes its<br />

implementation will help<br />

maximize support for<br />

women’s sports.<br />

“We are just as proud<br />

to represent the Script A,<br />

and with NIL legislation<br />

it gives the perfect<br />

platform to pursue bigger<br />

opportunities, create a<br />

brand for ourselves and<br />

ultimately inspire the<br />

next generation of NCAA<br />

women's athletes,”<br />

Blanco said.<br />

However, studentathletes<br />

can gain more<br />

from NIL than just<br />

brand deals. <strong>The</strong> time<br />

and work that go into<br />

their collaborations<br />

can be turned into<br />

business experience for<br />

post-graduation.<br />

During their time with<br />

Yea Alabama, athletes<br />

have the chance to learn<br />

how to read and negotiate<br />

contracts, as well as have<br />

a helping hand in building<br />

their brand for future<br />

endeavors. All domestic<br />

student-athletes on<br />

campus have access to Yea<br />

Alabama and the ability to<br />

participate in NIL.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y learn what it’s<br />

like to have expectations<br />

for a job, because they<br />

agree to do a certain<br />

number of tasks, whether<br />

that’s an appearance, or a<br />

meet and greet,” McPhillips<br />

said. “<strong>The</strong>y’re signing up<br />

for something and having<br />

expectations to deliver,<br />

the same way a typical<br />

employee would after their<br />

collegiate career.”<br />

Yea Alabama employees<br />

believe it is just as<br />

important to serve their<br />

student-athletes as their<br />

fans and donors. <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama has<br />

some of the best studentathletes<br />

in the country,<br />

and continuing to expand<br />

the connection between<br />

them and <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide<br />

fans through this program<br />

is essential for all -around<br />

success.<br />

Much is planned for<br />

the end of <strong>2023</strong>, and even<br />

more for the long-term<br />

goals of implementing NIL<br />

on campus and<br />

Yea Alabama.<br />

“We are ultimately<br />

here to serve our studentathletes,”<br />

McPhillips said,<br />

“Our goal for Yea Alabama<br />

in the next five years is to<br />

be the best in the country,<br />

period.”

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