NIL has brought a momentous change to the landscape of college sports, and NCAA Football in particular. I want you to understand: you can read 100 articles about this. But I’m going to tell you about NIL – 5 amazing facts you can tell your friends. (If you got no friends, just whisper it to yourself, and nod). Timing note: this article comes on Super Bowl Sunday because “Popeyes Meme Kid” (NIL Deal) is supposedly on a Super Bowl ad today.
NIL 5 Amazing Facts #1
NIL in Division 1 year two should be a billion-dollar business. I estimate it to reach 1.14 billion in the second full year of NIL. It all started in earnest in July 2021, when college athletes were given the NCAA right to make money with the passing of new name, image, and likeness (NIL) interim policies.
NIL 5 Amazing Facts #2
The acquisition of players with high NIL values does not necessarily lead to a great AP football ranking finish. I wrote an article about this subject earlier. I’ll just save you 400 words – it doesn’t always line up. Predicting NCAAF recruiting is quite difficult, but, conversely, each year an average fan could name 10 top ten recruiting schools. And of those ten, probably 8 schools in that year would be in that top 10.
The amazing thing is that though the system has changed – the results remain mainly the same. There are very few notable teams dropping out of the top 50, and very few charging up in the top 50 based on NIL deals.
NIL 5 Amazing Facts #3
NCAAF NIL deals have been huge, but some of them have been very…. unique. Some have nothing to do with football ability but with personality. One of the biggest NCAAF recruiting stories has been about Popeye’s “Meme Kid”. He secured a very lucrative NIL deal. There’s a great article (h/t NY Post) about that kid (now a promising lineman). It was announced in a tweet:
From Popeyes to State Champion!! East Orange #StateChamps pic.twitter.com/SQdKNBsZ9g
— 😈😈😈😈 (@Jerseystar973) December 6, 2021
5 NIL Amazing Facts #3
The proliferation of the collectives is amazing. Even though just over a year old, the NIL market is quickly becoming corporate and is consolidating, like big corporations. Two of Ohio State’s largest NIL non-profit corporations merged. According to the article, ” NIL collectives have surfaced at nearly every Division I school in the first 19 months of NIL. ”
One might have thought that NIL would be autographs, local car dealerships, and fashion tie-ins. But no, young Padawan. Actually, collectives, since they are a third party to the university, present risks. A legal article (h/t Vinson & Elkins) points out the risks presented to the university, even when the funds come from a third party not affiliated with the university (outlined in point 2 of their article.)
7 NIL Amazing Facts #4
There’s been some amazing blow-ups and strange situations. I wrote an article earlier in the season detailing some of these. There’s been some incredible train-wrecks of situations since, and it’s amazing to see such huge deals disintegrate. After all, everyone knew that giving huge amounts of money to young athletes would have no downside. (Of course, I wrote it could happen, but everyone dismissed it… forcefully. You can read the happy-happy prognostications at the beginning of NIL blind to these possibilities.)
Most notable was the $13 million dollar deal of QB Jacob Rashada of Florida. He changed his commitment from the Gators after a non-committal on the proposed NIL deal to him. Read the full story here. (Only in America).
5 NIL Amazing Facts #5
There’s a whole subculture of analysts and financial gurus who study NIL constantly. You can get any of these stats from publicly accessible sources such as Sportico.
Now as an athlete, you might think that you might want some privacy as to what your autograph or appearance fee is: that’s not an option. Most universities with a public NIL portal tell people the going rate for each athlete.
OK, comment on this @ajayxemem on Twitter or on this Website. And you can read some other oddly pleasant NIL musings here and also here. (it’s a good article, but a great photo of setting money on fire).
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