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Now that Iowa guard Caitlin Clark has declared for the 2024 WNBA Draft, some conversations have once again turned to how Clark will "lose money" by going pro. However, the assumption that Clark – who will earn slightly north of $75,000 on her rookie contract in the WNBA – will see hundreds of thousands of dollars in lucrative NIL deals simply evaporate as a result of leaving Iowa City is a farce.

The notion is not a new one. Clark may be the one going through it right now, but other former top collegiate stars who've gone to the WNBA have heard these arguments before. And one need look no further than 2023's top pick, Aliyah Boston, who is likely to become Clark's teammate given that the Indiana Fever also has the first pick in next month's draft.

"I think there's a big misconception about the WNBA and about college athletes like I, I don't understand it, I don't know where it came from," Boston told CBS Sports at a WNBA marketing event earlier this offseason. "I love this topic."

Many people have perpetuated the myth that top NCAA athletes, like Boston while she was at South Carolina or Clark at Iowa is now, will take a pay cut when they enter the WNBA. The same day Clark declared for the WNBA Draft, sports business reporter Darren Rovell posted on social media the Hawkeyes guard would lose $750,000. 

That is not the case, and that's according to the most recent top overall pick.

"When you look at NIL and you look at endorsements, it's the exact same thing. The money does not stop brands from continuing to want to support you," Boston said. "They're just tapping into a bigger market with professional athletes."

Even with NIL collectives or other team NIL deals, Boston told CBS Sports her WNBA earnings are still higher than what they were when she was in school. "A rookie contract is more than my regular cost of attendance in college," she said while emphasizing that WNBA players still receive endorsements and appearance fees on top of a salary. 

"There's a lot of misconceptions about like, 'Oh, you're going to lose money when you get to the league,' when that isn't the case," Stanford alum Haley Jones told CBS Sports earlier this week during an Athletes Unlimited press conference. "Those deals are going to just carry over and then you get to add on your yearly salary.

"I don't really understand that whole idea ideology around that," she added, "but I think in terms of just like the growth of women's basketball, there's so much more opportunity out there."

When asked to state if she lost money in going from Stanford to the WNBA, Jones replied swiftly and clearly: "No ma'am. No ma'am." 

Fellow AU basketball player and two-time WNBA champion Sydney Colson comically added the misconceptions come from men. While Colson is mostly right, at least one other prominent collegiate women's basketball player has perpetuated that line of thought. 

"The money I'm making is more than some of the people in the league that are top players," LSU star Angel Reese said on the I Am Athlete podcast last spring. Boston, Jones, Colson, along with Lexie Brown, another WNBA player, report that is not the case.

"Spread the gospel. Spread the gospel, please," Brown said Tuesday during the Athletes Unlimited press event. 

This year, Boston will be part of the WNBA Player Marketing Agreement (PMA) cohort. The league will compensate her and five other players to help promote the WNBA. This will be in addition to her salary with the Fever and her endorsement deals with brands like Adidas. 

Further, as a WNBA player, Boston is part of the WNBPA group licensing agreement. The WNBPA is able to independently market its players and use its collective power to create additional opportunities for players to earn additional compensation for appearances, as well as to have their name, image, and likeness used for trading cards, merchandise and other products. 

Okay, so the endorsements don't drop, but the valuation of a top WNBA player must be different than that of a top NCAA player, right?

"Absolutely not. It will not drop," WNBPA executive director Terri Jackson told CBS Sports in a recent phone interview. "In fact, it will be enhanced. There will be no drop in valuation. If anything, what we're about to see is going to surprise a lot of people."