Here’s the B.S. with the NIL. Alumni and fans are asked to donate to offset the cost of facilities, scholarships, etc. so the athletic departments created groups like the Mean Green Club or Mean Green Scholarship Fund. The game exploded in popularity and conferences were signing these huge television contracts that provide unbelievable amounts of revenue to the schools, video games came out, merchandise sales went through the roof, and schools used these funds to continue to build, add crazy amenities and locker rooms and pay coaches massive salaries. Who was left out? The players.
The schools still get large amounts of $$$ from all the above but they are told that they can’t use those funds to line the coffers and pay the players. You have to create “collectives” to pay the players, so this funding falls back on the alumni and fans. The alumni and fans are tired of being asked to shell out money when the schools are still collecting $$$$ from tv contracts, etc. The complaint was that the school wasn’t sharing any of this revenue that the players were bringing in by playing a game, the coaches were overpaid and the schools were reaping the benefit. The players never considered tuition, room, food, tutors, healthcare, etc that they receive as income, so they wanted a bigger piece of the pie.
Here comes the NIL. These athletes are told that they can now make money on the side through the use of their name, image or likeness. Businesses can hire them to advertise their products. No guidelines are out in place, so schools go after donations create a fund and just pay players to be on their team. Has nothing to do with name, image or likeness, but is just a salary for having your name on the roster. Quickly it gets out of hand because the NCAA doesn’t put any stipulations or rules in place and refuses to govern the mess that has been created. The rich get way, way richer and the others just go away or become part of a farm system to provide players to these teams in the future.
I can easily see this become a system where the teams like UT, USC, Georgia, etc. tell recruits, “Look, we really want you but you need to play and develop. We have an agreement with Georgia St. We are going to place you there and then you declare for the portal in two years and sign with us. They draw up an agreement, kid signs it, goes off to G5 State and the rest is history.
This game is ruined and there is no turning back now. The alumni are tired of shouldering the load and being asked to give when their school is taking in millions. It is a system set up to only benefit the few at the top. As an alumni, my funds are not limitless so I will have to decide. Do I give to a scholarship fund, the NIL Collective or do I split my donation and give a little to both? I am not adding more until I see the benefit. Again, this is ruining the sport.