From the sidelines
By Marty Gordon
Just 10 years ago, the University of Louisville was reprimanded in the midst of allegations a national sneaker company helped funnel players to the school. Now, those same efforts would really be legal under the NCAA’s new “Name, Image and Likeness.” Policy.
The Louisville matter said Adidas schemed to funnel recruits to its partner schools, and “was a representative” of the university.
The investigation found employees of Adidas, representing the university’s athletics interest, made an impermissible recruiting offer of $100,000 and arranged for a $25,000 extra benefit to the father of basketball prospect Brian Bowen. Additionally, former Louisville assistant coach Jordan Fair was knowingly involved in an impermissible recruiting inducement of $11,800 to $13,500 to Brad Augustine, a non-scholastic boys basketball coach associated with prospects.
If the year was 2023, all of this would have been legal with a fine line as a new policy is drawing recruits to schools that can help provide major payouts.
It has been 18 months since the NCAA implemented its policy allowing college athletes to make money off their name, image, and likeness (NIL).
High school quarterback and Miami Hurricanes commit Jaden Rashada is said to have signed the biggest NIL deal yet, with a $9.5 million payout.
Players are being offered millions of dollars to sign with specific colleges.
The report that North Carolina QB being offered staggered amounts to transfer from the school is another bad apple in this process.
The schools with the monies and right connections will stack the rosters of their sports teams.
The NCAA needs to reel in the process before it goes any further. The NIL is a great idea and does offer college athletes a way to make money, but the lines are being blurred as the former Louisville allegation is now legal.
Yes, student-athletes have benefited by the NIL policy, but it has also caused chaos as schools are using the NIL as “bidding wars” to grab the top talent. Add into the fact of the so-called “transfer portal” and there is a feeling of “free agency.”
For a college student, money speaks, and you have to wonder why so many of the top QB’s in the country have traded schools in the past six months.
Is it legal? Yes. Is it right? No!
The concern has been and will continue to be in college football. This will dictate how lofty the deals could be in the near future.
This hurts the mid-majors and smaller schools, and also affects recruiting of high school athletes. No longer will the outstanding players be spreading themselves out across the collegiate landscape. Instead, they will go to the to 10 schools who will have all the money to give them.
The future of college athletics has a black eye as we head into the new year.