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NIL NCAA – the New Norm

It’s here. The NIL NCAA moment of truth is on the horizon no more. Hannibal isn’t at the gates, he’s on the field and the gates will never be shut again. After years of listening to “amateur sports purists” lament the era of athletes getting paid upfront instead of in the back alley and how it will ruin the sport, wreck competitive balance, and lose the war for the allies, it’s time. The NIL NCAA is now.

NIL NCAA Reality

The NIL NCAA reality is allowing athletes to be paid for their likeness. Games are still being scheduled and played, well, just like they have been. The schools are still getting restricted cost labor while giving pennies on the dollar in return. The NCAA will still be profiting off of players’ work and their likeness. But for the first time in the history of the NCAA a player can legally get paid for trading his likeness to appear on a billboard, a TV commercial, wearing a brand T-Shirt, pimping a product during interviews, social media promotions, heck, the sky is the limit for the savvy marketer.

Now only the top stars are going to cash in, but even the linemen are going to (legally) get free grub now as long as they pose for a selfie giving a big thumbs up for the photo wall. Of course for all but the above board paycheck, this was going on all along, but now, it will be legal and the hypocrisy the NCAA was ignoring is instantly gone. This is a good thing.

NIL NCAA Competitive Ballance – The Big Lie

What NCAA officials, coaches, and boosters have been clamoring about for years is competitive balance. They state the NIL NCAA framework will allow a few schools to congregate the best talent. Hate to break it to everyone, but that is what is happening now with the under-the-table system. The schools that can get boosters to give them the biggest and best facilities, coaches, and support systems get the most recruits. Sliding the best players some cash through bogus jobs or shady uncles is all part of the game today. The only difference with the NIL is a lot of that money will go straight to the players (from the boosters) rather than to the schools for a new parking lot. THAT Is what the real fuss is about. The competitive balance argument is a smokescreen. Someone was always going to have to pay for it. The players finally getting compensated directly (however inadequately) for what they do is a good thing.

In reality, this will most likely spread top talent more equally around the country as only so many boosters have the deepest pockets. Will large schools dominate and smaller schools find it harder to complete? You mean like now? Yes, they will. But look for ‘Bama and a handful of other schools that have dominated for years in recruitment having to work harder for their yearly largesse. This is a good thing.

In summary, COVID is the only factor collegiate sports should be worried about right now. But in truth, the powers-that-be will continue to fret about every cent they can potentially lose. Just like slavers worked governments and social discourse for years to extend their golden goose, so will the NCAA cronies keep working to save theirs.

Another Left Coast Sports Post
on Twitter: Steven Van Over

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