More about Garnet Trust:

What is Garnet Trust? How does it work? How are we assuring that funding is compliant? We answer your questions below. Have a question you don’t see answered? Reach out to us: Ready to join? Go here.

Is crowdfunding NIL opportunities legal?

Yes. While fans have been conditioned for years to understand that paying college athletes is a non-starter, it’s now completely legal because of the lifting of restrictions on college athletes being paid for their name, image, and likeness. Specific to South Carolina, state law as well as university policy allows for this, although there are guidelines to follow. Everything Garnet Trust does follows these guidelines and will be legal and compliant.

The University of South Carolina and its staffers are barred from a legal standpoint from creating NIL opportunities for student-athletes or facilitating them. The school can only educate.

This is where Garnet Trust comes in as an independent organization that can create these deals.  Members  will not need to worry about compliance, contracts, or disclosures, as Garnet Trust will take care of all those factors.

Is Garnet Trust set up as a trust in the legal sense?

No, it is not a trust. The word “trust” is simply part of the company’s name. 

According to, “Trusts are estate-planning tools that can replace or supplement wills, as well as help manage property during life. A trust manages the distribution of a person’s property by transferring its benefits and obligations to different people.”

That is not what we do nor do we want to infer that’s what we do.

Is Garnet Trust affiliated with the University of South Carolina or The Gamecock Club?

No, we are not an extension of either, nor do we have an affiliation with USC. The university is prohibited by state law from creating or facilitating NIL deals for its student-athletes.

Who owns Garnet Trust and

Garnet Trust LLC is owned by Brian Shoemaker, who’s also the owner and founder of

What are the limitations on NIL deals?

There are not many limitations on NIL deals, aside from certain contractual obligations and disclosures that must happen along the way. There walso must be a “quid pro” quo, or an exchange. Again, members will not need to worry about those aspects. Student-athletes, per state and university policy, cannot highlight “vice” categories (gambling, drugs, alcohol), and any usage of university trademarks/logos must be cleared beforehand. Garnet Trust will ensure compliance in these departments.

There are no financial restrictions, and the main limitation is that there must be an “exchange” between the student-athlete and a person or business. Garnet Trust creates that exchange in the form of sponsored content, events, and the like.

What type of opportunities will be created for student-athletes, and how will those be decided?

A significant portion of NIL deals will be conducted on the media front in the form of sponsored content – stories, video interviews, multimedia events, etc.

These content items will be posted/hosted/broadcast on our media partner,, and its social channels.

Discretion will be used based on funding availability, student-athlete demand, and other factors as to what type of deals are arranged.

In-person and virtual meet-and-greets, autograph sessions,  student-athlete text messages members-only text messages, and more are available for Garnet members.

Garnet Trust’s goal is to establish an advisory board of former South Carolina student-athletes who have excelled as professionals to regularly review operations and bring new ideas to the table.

How can I access Garnet Trust content and/or events?

Some Garnet Trust-funded content – such as sponsored interviews– will be published by our exclusive media partner, As a supporter, you’ll know that you’re responsible for helping make these opportunities possible for student-athletes and that your efforts are also continuing to spread the word about Garnet Trust.

Certain events and initiatives will be absolutely exclusive to Garnet Trust supporters, such as the Garnet Trust app. Members will get special video messages and newsletters from current student-athletes, plus virtual meet and greets. Access to in-person events is also possible, depending on your member level.

As a Garnet Trust supporter, you will also be added to our email and text list, which we will use to send you exclusive content and keep you updated on what’s coming next!

Do I have to be a member of to join Garnet Trust?
No. We want any South Carolina fan to be a part of Garnet Trust!
Can I request content or opportunities with certain student-athletes?

We are always open to content creation ideas; drop us a line at

What percentage of membership revenue is earmarked for NIL deals?

Crowdsourced funds. Player NIL deals account for 90% of funds stemming from Garnet Trust member funds. That’s our goal. The percentage will vary based on operating costs plus expenses required for players to perform NIL services.

Business deals/funds. Players keep 100% of funds paid to them by businesses. We do not take a cut of player compensation; however, businesses may contract with us separately for various services.

An advisory board of USC lettermen, once established, will review our finances to ensure funds are spent in ways that most benefit the players.

You can help! We are actively seeking professionals and businesses to volunteer/donate services and products to help with Garnet Trust! If you are interested in supporting in this manner, please email us at:

Is there any such thing as "market value" for these deals?

There is no minimum or maximum restriction written into state law as to market value for student-athletes. 

Are there any differences in membership levels?

We have created multiple membership levels. You can see each each level and its benefits on our join page. If you do not see one that fits, you can always reach out at


Is this a charity? Are my membership funds tax deductible?

On the advice of legal experts and financial advisors given its purpose and goals, Garnet Trust is structured as an LLC.

Your membership is appreciated, but any funds paid for your membership are not tax deductible in the sense of it being a charitable donation.

If you’re a business owner, consult with a tax professional for any potential tax advantages related to NIL and advertising.

What forms of payment do you take to join?

We currently accept credit cards and checks. If you would like to send a check, please email us at: and we will be happy to assist.

How can I pause, cancel, or change my membership?

Email us at: and we will be glad to assist. You will not have to call us, and you will not have to participate in an online chat in order to make any billing changes. You can also self-manage your membership by going here, entering the email you signed up with, and getting a link to your customer portal.

I'm ready to join Garnet Trust. Where do I go?