TRENDING: $2.6 million NIL deals for HS athlete, SEC transfer portal updates & more

Report: Top N.C. basketball recruit Mikey Williams could make $2.6 million off NIL deals

With his 5.5 million social media followers, his undeniable basketball talents and his tendency to go viral for just about anything, Mikey Williams was always in a good position to benefit from new NIL laws.

But how much is the North Carolina prep star’s brand really worth?, a college sports and recruiting coverage website, tackled that question earlier this month when it released its inaugural NIL 100 rankings. It’s a new index that “looks to set the standard market value for both high school and college-level athletes” in the name, image and likeness era, per the site.

And Williams, On3 concluded, is a seven-figure earner…. [READ MORE]

Two cheers for the first college football national championship of the name-image-likeness era

Monday night’s national championship game is the maraschino cherry atop the sundae of post-season college football. The nation’s highest-paid government employee — coach Nick Saban, $9.75 million — will lead the University of Alabama’s student-athletes against their counterparts from the University of Georgia. They are coached by Kirby Smart, whose salary ($7.13 million) ranks only fifth among Southeastern Conference coaches, but is 40 times larger than that of Georgia’s governor.

The game will be watched by perhaps 20 million potential purchasers of beer and trucks and other stuff that corporations pay broadcast entities to advertise. ESPN reportedly pays about $470 million annually under a 12-year, $5.64 billion agreement for the right to broadcast major postseason games.

There always are, however, solemn warnings that the appeal of high-revenue college sports — football and basketball — is jeopardized by any departures from the “revered tradition of amateurism in college sports.” Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote those words in a 1984 case that came from the University of Oklahoma. (One of OU’s wittier presidents, when a state legislator asked why the school needed more money, answered, “I would like to build a university of which the football team would be proud.”) The 1984 court weakened the NCAA’s grip on schools’ football television arrangements, but the court’s rhetoric strengthened the lucrative myth that sustains the business model of the academia-entertainment complex: Amateurism is beautiful, so don’t pay the talent… [READ MORE]


Nick Saban, Kirby Smart both call for increased NIL regulation in college football: ‘You’re going to have the haves and have nots’

INDIANAPOLIS — Alabama football coach Nick Saban and Georgia coach Kirby Smart both called for increased regulation on name, image and likeness (NIL) deals for college athletes during their joint College Football Playoff news conferences Sunday.

Without more regulation, Saban and Smart said the same teams are going to continue to dominate college football.

Right at the top of that list are Alabama and Georgia, who meet Monday for the national title for the second time in the past five years. Alabama is vying for its sixth national title in the past 11 years.

“You’re going to have the haves and have nots, and the separation that is already there is going to grow larger,” Smart said. “The schools that have the capacity and the ability and are more competitive in the NIL market are going to be schools that step ahead on top of other schools. So I don’t want [recruiting] decisions to be based on that, but ultimately a lot of young men want to make their decision based on that.” [READ MORE]

Saban’s greatness lies in his adaptability

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nick Saban strolled off the plane in frigid Indianapolis with a look that got his players’ attention.

Somehow, the 70-year-old coach keeps finding ways to relate to guys young enough to be his grandchildren.

This time, it was a leather bomber jacket.

“His jacket was very cool,” Alabama safety Jordan Battle said. “I haven’t seen Coach Saban in style like that. To see that he has a little swag, it kind of brings joy to my heart.”

Saban may come across like an inflexible curmudgeon, but he’s really more of a chameleon — forever transforming, forever reshaping, forever making himself relevant to those who play for him, no matter the generation gap… [READ MORE]


Will The NCAA Intervene On NIL Deals Tied To Enrollment?

On July 1, 2021, when the NCAA removed its prohibition on college athletes monetizing their fame, it included only a few restrictions on the types of permissible activities. A “Question and Answer” document intends to provide guidance as to what is off the table in the mind of the association.

First, a name, image, and likeness (NIL) agreement without a quid pro quo is impermissible. Athletes must provide something in exchange for the receipt of compensation. Second, compensation cannot be premised on an athlete’s participation or achievement related to his or her athletic ability. Third, colleges and universities cannot directly provide compensation in exchange for the use of an athlete’s NIL. Finally, NIL compensation cannot be made contingent upon an athlete’s enrollment at a particular school… [READ MORE]


Legal fees top $1 million in probe of football recruiting violations under Jeremy Pruitt

The University of Tennessee’s legal fees have exceeded $1 million for its yearlong NCAA internal investigation into allegations that fired football coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff committed egregious recruiting violations.

The legal fees pale in comparison to the $12.6 million buyout that Tennessee declined to pay Pruitt after firing him for cause in January 2021. But it’s still a steep price tag.

Tennessee paid $1,077,638 in legal fees to the firm Bond, Schoeneck & King through November for its internal investigation, which began Nov. 19, 2020, according to invoices the university provided to Knox News after a public records request.

The documents obtained by Knox News included a quarterly bill of $134,170 from September to November. The December invoice is not yet available… [READ MORE]


How Texas high school football coaches have become power brokers for colleges in the state

When it comes to relationships with Texas high school coaches, reputation is everything, and reputation can spread fast. It’s what happens when over 14,000 of the state’s coaches meet annually for a coaching convention. Collectively, the group is one of the biggest power brokers for college football in the state, and this year’s coaching carousel proved it… [READ MORE]



SEC transfer portal player updates with averaged rankings for comings and goings

As of Tuesday morning, eight members of the ’21 Bulldog roster have left or will be leaving for other colleges. Offsetting this, now three players–two defensive backs and a receiver– have been procured via the portal…so far. Alright, that seems sorta disproportionate from all angles, right?

Not really. And it certainly is not out of line with most of the Southeastern Conference at this early-January moment. No less than seven SEC programs are bidding adieu to double-digit 2021 roster members. Three others are losing nine players, putting them over the 10% departures mark which of course does not count graduates. Hmm, quite a turnover taking place these days, eh?

And there are assuredly more to come in days ahead. For example, per 24/7’s data base Georgia has yet to have a player declare intent to transfer, though with championship won this is expected any minute. Playoff opponent Alabama has just three, though the Tide also has secured three transfers of their own already. So this is very much a stay-tuned tally provided below.

For a quick count, as of this morning there are 121 SEC players listed as leaving their ’21 address via the portal. It was 123 but two Florida players who’d declared intent have changed minds and stayed home for the new staff. Against all this, there are 35 listed players entering new SEC programs. The ‘new’ is literal because ten of these are cross-conference transfers. In fact seven are swapping schools within the same Division! [READ MORE]


NCAA’s transfer portal has become big, fat joke

Sports Illustrated tweeted Wednesday that a record 3,000-plus FBS and FCS players have entered the transfer portal in the past two months. This week alone, 173 players have hit the portal, according to 247 Sports.

It used to be that disgruntled players who thought they deserved more playing time or didn’t like their coach were the ones entering the transfer portal. It was designed to make less of a mess of the transfer situation as well as to help players who wanted to see greener pastures.

But just like cattle grazing, too many means overgrazing and they’ll eat up the available grasses until the only thing left is dirt. That’s partly why many players have sat in the transfer portal for nearly two cycles.

The NCAA has not made it any better… [READ MORE]


Federal legislation needed on NIL rules to prevent competitive ‘imbalance’

Alabama coach Nick Saban is supportive of college athletes’ ability to make money off their name and image rights. But he’s also a proponent of federal rules to govern how athletes can make that money.

Saban said Sunday morning that he believed college football will have a competitive imbalance without some sort of national guidelines for college athlete endorsements and sponsorships. After years of procrastination, the NCAA stopped enforcing its archaic rules preventing athletes from making endorsement money ahead of the 2021-22 seasons.

“I think what is a little concerning is how is that used to get players to decide where they go to school, because I don’t think that was the intention,” Saban said. “I don’t think that would be the NCAA’s intention. I think we probably need some kind of national legislation to sort of control that to some degree, because I think there will be an imbalance relative to who can dominate college football if that’s not regulated in some form or fashion.

“And the more we get to players making money and players actually having the opportunity to make money, which I’m not opposed to, maybe there’s some circumstance where there has to be some kind of an agreement between both the school and the player… [READ MORE]



Despite NCAA Fears, College Football Remains Extremely Popular In NIL Era

For years, NCAA officials proclaimed that fan interest in college football was linked to the players being unpaid. However, with less than 48 hours remaining until kickoff of the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship game between the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia, fan interest has arguably reached a new all-time high—even though college athletes on both teams now serve as paid product endorsers.

As of this evening, the cheapest ticket to attend the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday night on StubHub is listed for $345. Meanwhile, tickets for some of the better seats in Lucas Oil Stadium are going for closer to $2,500 apiece.

To see ticket prices for the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship this high—especially with the game being played in Indianapolis during a pandemic—largely rebuts any of the NCAA’s claims that allowing the athletes to earn money would lead to loss of fan interest. If anything, fan interest in the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship seems higher now than before the athletes served as product endorsers… [READ MORE]



Frierson gets $50,000 NIL deal through John Ruiz’s LifeWallet

Newly-minted Miami Hurricanes booster John Ruiz has officially entered the world of NIL.

Ruiz, who has been vocal about his desire to build a new stadium for the Miami Hurricanes, is signing UM LB Gil Frierson to a $50,000 NIL deal to promote LifeWallet, a new platform that allows medical and prescription information to be securely stored so health care professionals can access the records.

It is the first of what promises to be several NIL deals by Ruiz.

“There is no limit to what we will invest,” Ruiz told CaneSport Tuesday. “We have earmarked $10 million already.”

LifeWallet will also track athlete medical history and performances and help athletes be in optimum shape… [READ MORE]



Memphis Tigers’ marketability evident in NIL rankings

Barely six months into the name, image and likeness era of college athletics, Memphis Tigers athletes have quickly established themselves among the most marketable in the country.

Memphis athletes’ NIL ventures are managed by OpenDorse – a leading NIL readiness company that provides personalized resources and education for professional and college athletes as they endeavor to build, protect and monetize their personal brands. All told, OpenDorse manages NIL matters for athletes from 524 NCAA institutions.

Memphis, which boasts nine different sports reporting at least one NIL activity, ranks second among all OpenDorse partners in average NIL compensation per activity. The Tigers are also No. 3 in total NIL compensation and fifth in average NIL compensation per athlete… [READ MORE]



“Bronny James and Arch Manning are part of On3’s most valuable athletes”

Bronny James and Arch Manning are two of the most popular athletes in high school right now, and they’re two of the most valuable ones as well.

Manning is currently the number one high school quarterback prospect in the country, and his college decision is going to be something to follow for a while. The young quarterback will look to join his uncles Eli and Peyton Manning in having successful Hall of Fame level careers as expectations are already sky-high for the high schooler.

With NIL being so prevalent, more and more athletes have the opportunity to profit off of their names. Recently, On3 released the rankings of the five athletes that currently hold the highest NIL value… [READ MORE]



FSU soccer team establishes championship co-branding NIL opportunity

Florida State’s Soccer team celebrated the 2021 national championship with a shootout win over Brigham Young in December and have now become the first NCAA national champion to benefit financially under Name, Image and License legislation from a group licensed product. Florida State University and its soccer team also became the first to put together a co-branding opportunity with the university, which adds value for the customer and benefits the student-athlete and the university.

If you were watching the national championship match, you may remember the ecstatic moment when the Seminole women rushed toward Yujie Zhao, who had just laced the winning penalty kick into the back of the net.

The silhouette image of the Seminoles soccer team celebrating the moment is featured on the first licensed product produced for the women’s team, who will each receive compensation on every apparel item sold bearing the licensed image. What’s more, this is the first time Florida State University has approved its official marks to be used in conjunction with an NIL product, making this T-shirt the first group licensed national championship co-branded piece in the nation… [READ MORE]


THE RECRUITING GUY: NIL deals becoming more absurd

While the student-athletes have benefited, schools are actively using NIL deals as a way to entice prospects to sign with them which goes against what the NCAA intended.

A NIL deal cannot pay a player with the sole intent for the athlete to attend a school. Hot Springs based sports agent Chris Turnage said schools are doing exactly that… [READ MORE]



Nick Saban and Kirby Smart Address College Football NIL Issues

Both coaches took questions covering topics such as the NCAA Transfer Portal, NIL and, of course, Monday night’s game.

INDIANAPOLIS — The day before their two teams square off in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart met with and took questions from the media one final time. While many topics were covered, the highlight was both Saban and Smart’s comments on NIL and its impact on the changing college football landscape.

In addition to NIL, each coach fielded questions covering topics such as the NCAA Transfer Portal and, of course, Monday night’s game.

Here’s everything both coaches said in their final meeting with the media ahead of the CFP title game… [READ MORE]




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