Mark Edwards: Saban wants legislation limiting NIL money in recruiting, but is he right? | national


INDIANAPOLIS – Nick Saban warned us.

He warned us about quick infractions. He warned us about the transfer portal. Now, in response to questions on Sunday morning at a press conference promoting the Alabama-Georgia national title game, he warns us about the possibility of players making money by their name. , their image and likeness.

The Alabama coach is like a parent telling us that we can eat all the chocolate cake we want but that we’re going to have a stomach ache.

Then we eat too much chocolate cake, then we have a stomach ache, and it’s Saban who hands us a bottle of pink stuff, while giving us a look that screams, “I told you so.”

Make no mistake, Saban believes that allowing college footballers to make money from their name, image and likeness is only fair. He doesn’t see why they can’t make money with endorsements like coaches do.

The recent NIL rules allow players to cash in like never before. For example, before the start of the season, Saban said his starting quarterback Bryce Young was approaching $ 1 million in NIL trades. LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne, who has nearly six million social media followers, is also approaching $ 1 million in transactions. The same goes for Connecticut basketball player Paige Bueckers. According to Forbes, it is also approaching the million dollar range. Forbes also reports that Stanford basketball twins Haley and Hanna Caviinder earn more than their coach.

It’s one thing for Young, Dunne, Bueckers, and the Stanford twins to get a lot of money when they’re already on campus, but NIL opportunities are almost certainly used to attract recruits. This is why Saban is calling for national legislation to control the types of NIL offers that athletes are allowed to accept.

“I think what’s a little worrying is, ‘How is that used to get players to decide where they go to school?’ because I don’t think that’s the intention, ”Saban said.

The NCAA hasn’t taken the lead on NIL at all. To put it in its simplest terms, the NCAA basically does three things: 1, try to make its sports safe for college athletes; 2, sponsor championship events; and, 3, try to keep everyone on an equal footing as possible.

This third thing is sort of a decades-long lost cause, but like the little engine that might, the NCAA keeps moving forward, believing it can legislate towards equality between the Alabamas of the world and the Vanderbilts … except that it is always passive on NONE.

With the NIL money flowing into recruiting, it’s going to create an even bigger gap between schools that have good football programs and those that don’t. This is an area the NCAA chooses not to level.

Should there be national legislation as Saban wishes? It is a big step to take. Also, it might not happen soon. In the current state of the political landscape, it is difficult to see Republicans or Democrats wanting to fall on this grenade.

Even so, it will affect recruiting, as Saban warns.

Saban has already warned us that having a transfer portal would widen the gap as well, and he appears to have done so. Players can now change schools without having to be absent for a year, and by having a transfer portal, they can insert their names and wait for schools to recruit them.

Saban said it will lead more players to quit programs like this because they aren’t playing, while the crème de la crème of other teams would want to go to places like Alabama.

Last year, Alabama got linebacker Henry To’o To’o from Tennessee, and he made the second team in the Southeastern Conference. Wide receiver Jameson Williams is a native of Ohio State and is an All-America first team player.

This round of scouts, Alabama has won top running back from Georgia Tech Jaymyr Gibbs and an All-America cornerback from LSU to Eli Ricks.

Meanwhile, two under-used players are moving from Alabama to other Power Five schools: lineman Pierce Quick at Georgia Tech and defensive back Marcus Banks at Mississippi State. Wide receiver Xavier Williams is heading to the State of Utah.

This process will only accelerate.

While staying put isn’t for everyone, Saban thinks it’s beneficial to stay in a school and troubleshoot rather than go to the transfer portal, and he’s not wrong about it. . Yet if there is a transfer portal, Saban is not going to stand up on principle and ignore it.

It’s the same with quick infractions – which he calls continuous football – and he’s shown he doesn’t have to love it to enjoy it. While his 2015 and 2017 national championship teams still had their feet in ball-control football, his 2020 title-winning team were all-in with continued football. This year’s squad too, as they prepare for Monday’s championship game.

Why should NIL be any different? Saban will also use it to bolster recruiting courses, and judging from his story, he’ll do it better than anyone.

And we’ll continue to see Alabama entrenched at the top of college football.

About Harold Shirley

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