Syracuse Orange pushing out Adam Weitsman ‘unheard of’ – NIL attorney

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Attorney Darren Heitner, a well-known and well-respected NIL expert who has advised Adam Weitsman and many other clients across the country on name, image and likeness matters, says his reaction was one of “shock and surprise” when he heard the news that Weitsman would no longer be doing NIL deals with Syracuse Orange players.

I caught up with Heitner, the founder of Heitner Legal in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in recent days after I first reported on Tuesday that businessman and philanthropist Adam Weitsman was getting out of the NIL game as it pertains to the ‘Cuse.

Weitsman says he is honoring his two-year NIL agreement with Dyaisha Fair, a Syracuse Orange women’s basketball player, but other than that, he will not sign any new NIL deals with ‘Cuse student-athletes.

Weitsman told me that he feels the Syracuse University chancellor, Kent Syverud, doesn’t want him doing NIL any longer, especially with the attention and publicity that it brings to SU with Weitsman involved in NIL.

Weitsman says that he reached out to the SU chancellor on numerous occasions to discuss the chancellor’s concerns but never was contacted back by phone or e-mail.

Through a SU Athletics spokesperson, Syracuse University has no comment on Weitsman’s decision.

Adam Weitsman getting out of NIL is a big-time loss for the Syracuse Orange.

While SU Athletics has announced various NIL initiatives to support ‘Cuse players, and there are collectives out there supporting Syracuse Orange student-athletes, there’s no denying that Adam Weitsman deciding to exit the NIL arena as it relates to SU is a huge blow on the Hill.

Heitner says he believes that as it pertains to NIL, Weitsman has “done everything by the book.”

In the NIL agreements that Weitsman had forged with current ‘Cuse players, Heitner says NCAA rules were followed. Nothing in these deals was tied to where student-athletes lived, their enrollment at Syracuse University, or their performances, Heitner says.

Adam Weitsman is “extremely disappointed in the way he’s been treated, the lack of respect. He feels he has been pushed out by SU,” Heitner says. “You’d think Syracuse would appreciate how giving (Weitsman) has been to the university and its athletes.”

Heitner continues, “How do you expect to survive, pushing away your biggest supporter? … I just don’t understand it.”

I asked Heitner if he’s seen any kind of similar situation occur between high-profile NIL investors and other schools around the country. His response: “This is just unheard of.”

Heitner sums it up this way: “Syracuse is so petrified of the NCAA, going above and beyond what is necessary to abide by the rules.”

Adam Weitsman says since I first reported that he would halt NIL deals with Syracuse Orange players, he “has been contacted by just under 20 universities to do NIL for them, including ones that directly compete with Syracuse.”

Weitsman adds that he would never help any program that directly competes with the Syracuse Orange. Heitner echoed that sentiment, saying, “Many schools are gunning for Weitsman to support their programs, but out of his loyalty to the area he has politely declined.”

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