Remember when one of the top collegiate football prospects, Travis Hunter, committed to Jackson State, an FCS school, to be coached by Prime Time? I think the part of that story that stuck out to most people was the rumor that Barstool paid Travis a million dollars in an NIL deal to boost the ratings of their show, Coach Prime.
NIL means Name, Image, and Likeness, which is a new way the NCAA is allowing players for the first time to legally profit off of the use of their Names, Images, and Likeness. That’s why after around a century of collegiate athletes having to wait until they leave school to make money, you see ads left and right with some random college player promoting their town’s local sub shop. I’m all for the kids making money, but it does open the door to controversies like this.
Saban spoke about this controversy, saying Jackson State violated one of the rules of NIL, calling out their coach, Deion Sanders.
Deion was pissed and vehemently denied breaking any rule, saying he would address it today.
Saban also went after the program at Texas A&M, saying they were doing the same thing, buying their players.
Obviously, in the early days of the creation of the NIL rules, there will be some loopholes that are abused. Every coach wants the best recruits, and players have been getting paid under the table for decades. Stories like this will definitely lead to more strict NIL guidelines in the future, but in the meantime, it still seems like a free for all.