The NIL and How It’s Changing College Football

Written by  //  2022/07/29  //  Athletics  //  Comments Off on The NIL and How It’s Changing College Football

The NIL and How It's Changing College Football

It’s been eight years since gamers could enjoy the excitement of EA Sports’ NCAA Football 14. Because of the uncertain legal matters regarding using a player’s likeness in the game without compensation, Clemson fans couldn’t enjoy their rise to prominence, nor could Alabama fans replicate the success of Nick Saban.

However, the video game franchise is returning in the summer of 2023 because of the collegiate athletes’ NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) deal. While a new video game is exciting for those sitting on the sidelines, the NIL is changing the college football landscape for players and universities all over the country.

What the NIL Agreement Does for Student-Athletes

In 2011, Ohio State’s star quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, and four other teammates received a five-game suspension for selling merchandise at a tattoo parlor. This suspension, which led to their coach Jim Tressel’s firing, highlighted how ridiculous the NCAA rules are for student-athletes.

NIL grants athletes the right to the exposure that other folks already have but that the NCAA had previously prohibited.

Even amateur sports are big business in America’s athlete-crazy culture, and the new NIL rules more accurately reflect that truth. Athletes may represent themselves to earn additional revenue, or companies can hire them for paid appearances, starring in promotional campaigns, or arranging autograph signings.

This opens the door for players to earn money while keeping their amateur eligibility, allowing them to remain on campus and earn money doing so.

Rules and Regulations

Although it feels like college football is turning into the Wild West with NIL agreements, the transfer portal, and conference realignment, there are two established rules in place. Universities cannot outright pay a player to enroll, and their performance on the field doesn’t determine compensation. However, there is wiggle room for schools to circumvent these rules.

The Rich Get Richer

The concept of the NIL was to reward elite athletes for their contributions. While that’s true, it’s also creating a larger gap between the premier college football programs and the other 100-plus schools competing for the same prize.

Early out-of-conference contests feel like a foregone conclusion if it’s the best from the SEC versus the Big 10 because the best players in the country are in the SEC. The rich continue to get richer, and the parity that makes the game exciting falls by the wayside.

What Does This Mean for the NCAA?

The NIL agreement was Pandora’s box that the NCAA never wanted anyone to open. Essentially, the NCAA as a governing body is now powerless. If they try to punish any institution for breaking the rules in the recruiting process, the university can countersue for breaking antitrust laws.

As a student body member or a collegiate athlete, it’s nice to know about the NIL and how it’s changing college football before heading back to campus. Hopefully, you’re attending a university that can take advantage of this, or it could be a long and agonizing fall in the student section.

Image Credit: Adobe Stock royalty-free image #323829572

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