Football players receive NIL deal to combat sleep apnea

by Caleb Thomas

The bigger they are, the harder they fall’ is a well-known cliché, however, it can also apply to sleep apnea. 

Studies, such as one done by doctors at the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorder Center, have shown that there is a direct correlation between neck circumference and sleep apnea. 

Jason Jones, owner of Jones Medical Supply, a local company that specializes in at-home medical equipment including CPAP machines, realized this one morning and had an idea. Jones Medical Supply is teaming up with Troy Regional Medical Center to help out Troy football players, specifically the offensive line group.

Over the summer, Troy Regional will conduct sleep studies on all the Trojans offensive linemen to see if they have undetected sleep apnea. Jones Medical supply will provide CPAP machines to any of the players who do have sleep apnea, free of charge. 

“Historically, all we have is the financial part [of NIL deals] from paying them to be in my advertising,” said Jones. “This is different because of what it’s going to do for their health.”

Jones cites the story of one player who has already gotten treatment and has reported feeling more rested because of having a CPAP machine. 

“If you have sleep apnea and don’t use a CPAP, it’s like you’re running a marathon when you’re asleep,” said Jones. “You wake up and you’re not rested because you never got true rest.”

The deal helps provide players with treatment they otherwise might not have gotten, and will help improve their quality of life. 

“We’re trying to tackle [sleep apnea] so that they can live up to their best potential in the classroom, on the field and just in life,” said Jones. “The goal in an NIL deal is to help a student-athlete, first and foremost.”

Even on the national level, the NIL deal that Jones Medical and Troy Regional have made is unique. Jones says that to his knowledge, the deal is the first of its kind. 

“I want us to be different in that we’re pairing NIL and healthcare together for college football athletes,” said Jones. “We want to take care of the athletes financially, but we also want to take care of them as people.

“At the end of the day, if this changes lives and saves lives, then it’s going above and beyond what we ever imagined.” 

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