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Shilo Sanders bankruptcy case related to high school assault brings NIL earnings into question

On3 imageby:Andrew Graham05/24/24


Colorado safety Shilo Sanders disclosed just shy of $325,000 worth of assets to his name in a December 2023 bankruptcy case related to an $11.89 million dollar judgement against him stemming from an assault when Sanders was in high school, according to Westword.

And this filing raises questions about Sanders’ NIL earnings. Sanders, who is the son of Colorado head coach Deion Sanders and the older brother of quarterback Shedeur Sanders.

The bankruptcy proceeding itself stems from Sanders losing a judgement in 2022 after allegedly assaulting a security guard as a high schooler in 2015.

A suit filed in Dallas District Court in 2016 alleged the security guard, John Darjean, had “sustained severe and permanent injuries including a broken neck, damage to his cervical spine, permanent neurological injuries and irreversible incontinence,” according to a 2024 filing in the bankruptcy proceed. These injuries were allegedly caused when Sanders elbowed and continued to hit Darjean during an altercation.

Sanders lost the judgement when it went to trial in 2022, and failed to appear. The court awarded Darjean an $11.89 million judgement against Sanders after finding he had committed assault and battery. Darjean has alleged this judgement has not been paid.

Darjean, in bankruptcy court filings, has also alleged that Sanders hasn’t fully represented the totality of his assets. And what is not clearly represented are Sanders’ NIL earnings, which Darjean has essentially alleged are being funneled through a pair of LLCs: Big 21 LLC and SS21 LLC.

“On the surface, this omission is as glaring as it is preposterous because it is Shilo’s very NIL value and/or public value that are the source of the non-stop paid engagements and social media appearances,” the filing says. “The entire underpinning of the NIL concept is the value of the individual athlete, but Shilo chose not only to hide the value of the entire NIL endeavor with the ‘unknown’ listings for the two of the entities that were disclosed (Big 21 LLC and/or SS21 LLC), but Shilo intentionally failed to identify and disclose his individual NIL property interest anywhere in the schedules.”

By virtue of his perch at Colorado as the Buffaloes have risen to off-field prominence in college football, Sanders has signed endorsement deals with massive brands like Google, Starz, Oikos (for a Super Bowl ad) and of course the EA Sports video game.

Most of the asset value in Sanders’ disclosure stems from his Mercedes-Benz automobile and investments held in a Robinhood account, according to a disclosure obtained by Westword. And the total was down from an October 2023 disclosure where Sanders claimed $477,881 in assets, as his investment portfolio on Robinhood apparently didn’t do well late last year.