According to Nick Saban, the major changes that have taken place in college football and other college sports over the past 12 months are not sustainable.
The Alabama coach told the Associated Press this week that a lack of rules about how athletes now make money through advertising has created a situation “where you can basically buy players.” After decades of being unable to use their own image rights to earn money while playing college sports, NCAA athletes are now able to sign endorsement deals. This, Saban said, has moved more players to see if they can make more money through NIL deals elsewhere.
“The concept of name, image and likeness was able to create opportunities for players for themselves to be able to use their name, image and likeness. It was what it was,” Saban said. “So last year our team In me, our people probably made more or less than anyone in the country.”
“But it creates a situation where you can basically buy players,” Saban said. “You can do it in recruiting. I mean, if that’s what we want college football to be, I don’t know. And you can even ask players to come to the transfer portal to see if they There’s more to be found than yours.”
Saban is not against the concept of athletes making money from their image rights. He even said that players from Alabama are more likely to get into NIL deals than players from any other school. This is another selling point for players considering Alabama.
He isn’t the only one who has spoken out against the NCAA’s current handling of NIL deals and the lack of governance’s influence on recruiting. The NCAA waived its provision preventing athletes from receiving sponsor income in view of a number of state laws that would have allowed college athletes to receive sponsorship. And while the NCAA has repeatedly asked Congress for federal rules governing sponsorship deals of college athletes, Congress has shown little interest in providing that framework for the NCAA.
This has led to a recruitment landscape that has been compared to the Wild West as businesses and donors have moved to set up deals for players already on college rosters and incoming recruits as soon as teams sign with . Though this is where a freak would point out that the Boosters have been making deals for college players against the NCAA’s previous rules for years.
Texans A&M coach Jimbo Fischer famously got defensive after signing the day, amid rumors that a fund for zero deals for his staff was a key factor in securing the top-ranked recruiting class in the country. Was.
“There’s no $30 million fund. There’s no $5 million. No $10 million. It’s garbage, right? It bothers me,” Fischer said at his Signature Day news conference in February. “It comes from a site called ‘Bro Bible’ by a guy named ‘Slicedbread’ and then everyone runs along with it. So it’s written on the internet and it’s gospel. How irresponsible is this?”
Some of the coaches’ hold may simply be because the way they’ve recruited over the years was extended a single summer last year with the NCAA waiving their longtime amateur provisions. But there’s also potential value to other complaints. The NCAA and its member schools had decades to think and work through detailed and specific changes to the old amateur rules. Instead, its laxity prompted state legislatures across the country to act. And that action forced the NCAA to make sweeping changes hastily.
The NCAA may still change the way NIL deals are handled. But it is much easier to gradually loosen the rules than to tighten them quickly. And if we’ve learned anything in our lifetimes of watching the NCAA, it’s that quick and decisive action rarely happens.