Not many people are publicly critizing the new NIL Laws for college student-athletes. The people that are only prove a further point.
I often scroll through Twitter and other sources to read the latest news stories to find inspiration to write. Today, I pulled one of those casual browses when I stumbled across an Outkick article by TK Sanders. “NIL Laws Promise Gold Rush Fortunes, But At What Cost?” the headline read. Intrigued, I clicked on the link.
I have been for NIL laws all of my writing careers. The fact that a normal student on a scholarship can pursue personal business endeavors on their own without collegiate interference, but the NCAA refusing student-athletes the same opportunities always astounded me. College sports are prevalent across America, mostly college football and baseball. Entire school sports departments are mostly funded by football. Why couldn’t athletes tap into the market for their image?
Now that this is a law, some players have been reported to be approaching seven-figure numbers in just the first month. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who has yet to take a meaningful snap in college football, is in this exclusive club. The market has absolutely exploded for many athletes who are making millions early on.
The opposition to NIL laws
In the Outkick article that I stumbled across, I found the story focused solely on former college football coach Norman Joseph. Currently working as the head coach at McGill-Toolen Catholic High, a prominent prep school in Alabama, Joseph is staunchly opposed to the NIL laws that have been activated across the country.
“I have no interest,” he said on Mobile’s Sports Talk 99.5 FM. “I think it’s the biggest cop-out.”Embed from Getty Images
Joseph was commenting on Young and the big money that he has made early in the process. “Do you realize he is making more money than some of the assistant coaches? So, here’s an assistant coach. He sits in a meeting with this guy. He says, ‘Hey, you got to get here on time.’ The guy could be like, ‘OK coach, sure, whatever you say. You know what I make. I know what you make. You are not going to tell me what to do.’ Same thing if they say, ‘You got to start making your grades, you got to go to class, you know what our policies are.’ ‘Yeah, OK, coach. I’ll be there tomorrow.’ How are you going to control those guys?”
This is the exact tool that NFL scouting departments have needed
The point that Joseph is raising has been part of the frustration that NFL teams have dealt with so many years, especially as the NFL has become a big-money organization. How can we tell if our guys can handle the money?
JaMarcus Russell, the Oakland Raiders’ first overall selection of the 2007 NFL Draft, is a perfect example of this. He had all of the God-given talents in the world. Unfortunately, he didn’t work hard enough and gave up when he started receiving checks. He’s considered one of the biggest draft busts of all time.
If you can’t control your players, you kick them off of your team. That hurts them not only from a PR standpoint but professionally as well. It’s a clear indicator to NFL clubs that there is a personality issue here, and if it’s stemming from the money, it’s a red flag hoisted by the prospect himself. How convenient.
People have to remember that college is supposed to be about growing up and preparing themselves for the world to be an adult. It’s not about parties, or the last chance one has to act like a child. Sports require discipline and maturity from each member of the team. It’s part of being something bigger than yourself. Allowing prospects to make money in college only further demonstrates these points.
NIL laws are good for the sport, and they are good for the players. Even better, it’s a bonus for their future employers.