“Players aren’t getting bought; they’re asking you to buy.”

Sally Jenkins argues that NIL compensation hasn’t ruined college football, despite arguments to the contrary.

Change is not invariably bad, and the legal change that allows college athletes to profit from their own name, image and likeness (NIL) will not crumble stadiums. Despite the NCAA’s scarifying prediction that it would lead to the immediate death of autumn, the season is coming on. As the ground gets firmer in the cold, tailgaters will enjoy the warming delights of bourbon outdoors before noon and stadium crowds will bob in their warring colors as they issue their guttural incantations, as they ever have. On the field, the players will be as fervent as they ever were, lusting for success, trying on stardom but still young and rehearsing for adulthood.

The NIL market is in its early days, but it’s safe to say almost nothing has gone as the naysayers threatened. Despite all the vertigo over NCAA rule book upheavals, the money is not changing college sports for the worse…

The doomsday scenario preached by shortsighted NCAA officials was that NIL would be ruinous. It would disillusion a public in love with “amateurism,” poison team chemistry, tank smaller schools and leave obscure athletes and minor sports unfunded while a handful of NFL-bound stars in power conferences commandeered megadeals…

It’s hard to deny she has a point there.  This doesn’t look like disillusionment to me.

I still believe a major reason schools and the NCAA fought NIL compensation was out of fear that player compensation would become normalized in the minds of the public, making it harder to cry wolf over the possibility that they would eventually pay college athletes directly.

37 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

37 responses to ““Players aren’t getting bought; they’re asking you to buy.”

  1. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    I think it is a little early for folks to take a victory lap?
    Let’s talk in 3-4 years after a full recruiting class cycle.
    btw, no problem with players getting paid above the table.
    but if anyone thinks those under the table casino chip, atm cards, nonMickey Ds bags of unmarked bills that mysteriously end up in the hands of those (insert any big time program) 5* recruits handlers bank accounts…

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    • Biggen

      I agree. It does seem early after one week to declare victory for NIL supporters. On top of that, my concerns are there are essentially no rules now for NIL since the NCAA has check out. So anyone can entice high school recruits to come to School A over School B with “NIL” which is just code for “Here is your bags of money from taking a couple of pictures in my restaurant and playing for my school”.

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  2. otto1980

    Might be accurate, might not be. I wouldn’t be calling victory now, major changes like this often bring in new fans which are not diehards, and the long time fans don’t walk away over night. So you have an increase in viewers and then a long decline as both groups of fade away from the sport.

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  3. Derek

    Literally nothing the naysayers would happen (and the promoters of NLI said wouldn’t) has happened:

    https://www.republic-online.com/opinion/columns/byu-booster-pays-tuition-for-walk-ons/article_87ac7ea8-038b-11ec-b6dc-1b66e9e5f890.html

    No way Auburn sees the BYU story and runs with the brilliant idea of simply having boosters pay players money. None.

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    • You still watching college football? Just checking.

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      • Derek

        You were watching college football during decades of darkness and exploitation right?

        I never said I would stop watching.

        I said NLI would be used as a vehicle to attract talent to schools and that it wouldn’t be at market prices. “Let’s pay walk ons” seems to fit that bill.

        You could have just admitted I was right then. Or now. Or not.

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      • It is way, way to early to see where all of this shakes out. Let’s see where things stand in 3 to 5 years.

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        • Uh hunh. I’ll ask again — you still watching college football?

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          • Derek

            We’d watch if they handed out steroids and cocaine and were armed with chains and maces. Wtf does viewership have to do with whether a particular policy is a good idea?

            Public vigilante executions draw a crowd. Does that mean its a public good?

            Did the ncaa pick a piss poor argument regarding fan interest? Sure.

            Not much more senseless an argument than continuing to insist that NLI would be completely market driven.

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          • 79dawg

            For now – because what is going on now with NLI in the first 3 months is tiddlywinks… There is only one way to go from here when the moneyrace begins in earnest – race to the bottom. And as that becomes more overt over time, more and more people are going to be turned off, in my opinion.
            Of course, by the same token, people who have no interest in college or universities and just want to see high-level football, may be drawn in; query whether that is why the University of Georgia should be sponsoring a professional football team or not…

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            • Derek

              But not quite yet so let’s declare victory!

              Where’s that MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner?

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            • Is that what you think UGA is doing now?

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              • 79dawg

                Sponsoring a nearly professional football team almost entirely cut loose from academics? Yes, the connection is hanging by a thread IMO…

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                • “… almost entirely cut loose from academics” is doing some heavy lifting there.

                  I do agree that if players are being paid by schools without going to school, we’re looking at an entirely different situation.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • veryfinepeopleonboth Sides

                  NCAA ruled it was fine at UNC.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • 79dawg

                  Can’t reply to you, but they are barely going to the same school that the rest of the students are:
                  Justin Fields admitted he never went to a classroom; class schedules are built around practice, workout, other athletic schedules; travel; funneling them to certain majors (of course, that’s been going on forever); different admission requirements; separate dorms and dining halls (not so much an issue now, RIP McWhorter); and now athletes potentially earning millions from NLI? All of those things signal that athletics is more important than academics and that the athletes are separate and apart from the “average” students and, again, NLI is only likely to exacerbate these differences IMO….

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                • So, you’ve quit watching?

                  All of what you complain of was going on before this year and players were getting paid, either over the table (COA stipend) or under. What’s changed?

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            • akascuba

              79,
              I did see an interview with Justin Fields while he was the starting QB at t OSU when asked how did he like the campus the answer was. I really don’t know I only saw it on a recruiting visit. I take all my classes online. This was pre NIL. My first thought was sounds like Urban Myer is on the mother. Later it became maybe he really is doing some class work. If so it’s much better than the old days when stars may never attend class.

              Who was the old Washington Redskins line man who after he retired admitted he was illiterate on some 60 minutes type show? Said he never attended class and passed required course work.

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          • Like I said this first year nothing really has changed. But if it becomes the NFL lite I won’t be watching just like I don’t watch the NFL.

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  4. akascuba

    I agree with your reasoning for why the schools fought it. Nor do I disagree with the author’s perspective on how once in school the NIL will work.

    My biggest concerns are still what happens with recruiting the most talented high school players. The whims of a teenage boy and his family circle often dreaming of riches already is crazier than ever. Secondly i expect cash to greatly effect the transfer portal. I’m thinking Cam Newton x100 going forward. I would really like to be wrong on both.

    I’m all for people getting paid what they are worth that excludes no one. The amount of insane money the sport brings in should include those making the product we watch. I’m glad Georgia is a have school and should prosper in this new future. I just don’t know how I’ll personally feel about CFB if there are bidding wars for high school seniors along with NIL deals dangling in the transfer portal. The good news for me is I get nobody running CFB cares so I’m not upset or spun up. I’m old enough to hope for Kirby to bring that NC back to Athens while I still love CFB.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. RangerRuss

    So the NCAA predicted NIL would ruin the sport, eh? Just like they predicted in the 80’s that showing more games on TV would be the end of fans attending games. How did that work out?
    Dumbasses.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. The only harmful thing NIL has done so far is put a Dr. Pepper marketing executive out if a job. Thanks a lot DJ.

    Liked by 4 people