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SEATTLE - As the debate rages over whether to compensate NCAA athletes, one Seattle apparel company believes its found a way for everyone to win.

Looking back on this college experience as a Cougar, MKristo Bruce doesn't have many regrets.

I had a great career, All-American, All-Pac10, and it was the greatest experience of my life going to Washington State, said Bruce, a former WSU defensive lineman.

Bruce considers himself one of the lucky college athletes, who went pro after he graduated and now boasts a successful career as a Sales Manager at Brotherton Cadillac in Renton. He also knows not everyone is that fortunate.

I talked to a lot of student athletes who said they felt like they got kicked between the legs essentially because it s the real world, and it came fast and you put all your heart and time to the university that made millions off of you and you are just by yourself it seems when you get out, said Bruce.

It's why Seattle-based sportwear brand SODO Apparel is working to do its part in compensating NCAA athletes.

For us we saw it as a lot of sport brand companies right now are using the players basically as billboards for their brand, but the players aren t getting compensated at all, said SODO Apparel Founder Mark Nelson.

Through the sale of its baseball caps, SODO will use 50 percent of the profit to seed a fund that will go to 25 players who a mediametric company considers the most exploited around the country.

It s not about paying these guys a lot of money, said Nelson. It s about building awareness and trying to be the first company to compensate the players.

While not all college athletes will reap direct benefits from SODOApparel sales, MKristo Bruce says it's a big first step to support those who are giving up so much for the game.

People don t think about for the rest of my life I m going to be in pain, and I chose it' I wanted to play this game, but what after, said Bruce.

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