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Angel Reese and Olivia Dunne are two of the biggest college athletes in the country. Running as the flag-bearers in a male-dominated category, they are in competition with themselves. Reese and Dunne, two exceptional athletes at Louisiana State University (LSU), have taken the college sports world by storm in 2023.

Both hailing from different sports backgrounds, they’ve joined forces with several other Tigers athletes in embracing the newfound opportunities presented by the Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) policies.

Angel Reese and Olivia Dunne, the flag bearers for the LSU Tigers

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Angel Reese, a senior transfer from the University of Maryland, has become a basketball sensation at LSU. Her impact was monumental, propelling the Tigers’ women’s basketball team to their first-ever National Championship title last spring. In the process, she earned the prestigious Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four award. On the other end of the spectrum, Olivia Dunne, a gymnast, has emerged as the highest-paid female athlete in the nation. Remarkably, she holds the title of the second highest-paid college athlete, only behind Bronny James.

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Both the stars have a little misery awaiting the upcoming college season where they will have to attend classes online from their senior year. The reason is their growing popularity among college fans. Dunne’s success in monetizing her NIL rights has been astounding. However, what sets her apart is her commitment to sharing the wealth and helping her fellow female athletes. Reese and Dunne’s latest feat has fans in splits.

Fan reactions, a mixed bag

When the official Sports Illustrated X account introduced Angel Reese and Olivia Dunne as cover athletes, fans erupted with diverse reactions. Some expressed heartfelt congratulations and admiration for these LSU standouts, celebrating their remarkable achievements. With wholehearted enthusiasm, one fan commented, “Congratulations ladies!!”

 

However, not all reactions were equally positive. Some fans couldn’t help but showcase their preferences. While showering Angel Reese with affection and praise, others seemed to downplay Olivia Dunne’s contributions. One user said, “Led by Angel Reese & the other girl” 

In response to the earlier tweet, one fan wrote, “The other girl, aka the highest-paid female collegiate athlete…”

 

While giving appreciation to the LSU program, a user tweeted, “Yesss! Congrats to Olivia Dunne, Angel Reese, and [the] LSU women’s program! You’re killin’ it in the new college sports economy. So awesome!”

 

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In response to a criticism directed toward Olivia Dunne, one fan went on to explain:

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With fans showing mixed reactions, what are your thoughts on Olivia Dunne and Angel Reese inspiring young aspiring athletes for greatness? Let us know in the comments below!

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