It’s Not the Wild Wild West…Yet.
The NCAA issued an update to its’ milk toast 2021 NIL guidelines from last summer.
It is a weak attempt to rein in John Ruiz, Hugh Haftcock, and other seemingly rogue booster operations masquerading under the moniker of “NIL Collectives”, as well as halt some player agents who are apparently using quasi-extortion tactics against universities and collectives in the name of the athlete clients- see: Nijel Pack’s agent at NEXT Sports- Adam Papa. Papa represents Pack, Isaiah Wong, and Baylor Scheierman; all who have been in the NIL spotlight this Spring.
Ruiz, who continues to explore building a football stadium for UM, already has spent more than $5 million of his own money on deals for UM athletes. As of Monday, 61 Canes players had signed agreements to promote LifeWallet (a health tech company) and another seven had contracts with Ruiz to promote Cigarette Racing, which specializes in custom-made, high-performance powerboats. Omier and Jackson then agreed to terms Tuesday. Find more sports news, plus coverage from Sports Illustrated. READ MORE Another 48 deals with Hurricane athletes are pending. So that’s 111… and counting.
The NCAA had crafted a heavy-handed policy a year ago, but was advised to shelve it after suffering recent court defeats. They were advised to wait on Congressional action(s). Congress never got around to NIL in last years session – and still hasn’t. Too busy implementing anti-voting, anti-abortion, 2030 policies, ensuring everyone gets a dose of Graphene Oxide from Pfizer, sanctioning Russia, sending money to Ukraine, and whatever other machinations necessary to stay the party in power.
This is a synchronous period in collegiate sports:
- Congress with its head in the sand – preoccupied with its own agendas, having no time to deal with the menial trivia which is college athletics.
- A patchwork Name-Image-Likeness landscape nationally, 60% (30 states) with state laws, 40% (20 states) without.
- A severely wounded, courts weakened, & leaderless NCAA, trying to hold the tide (finger in the dike) vs an onslaught of aggressive & well-heeled booster collective groups.
- The convergence of the growing transfer phenomenon of the last several years, with the new NIL window of opportunity for athletes.
This NIL/Transfer convergence appears to have the power to do the impossible – level the playing field between the rich elite schools and the up & coming wannabe power schools. UK got dunked on by lil Creighton as the Wildcats got rebuffed recently for NIL waffling…and they are no slouch when it comes to booster collectives. Miami is using its newfound clout to reel in the athletics by the scores. The wild, wild, West? No, not yet.
Milt (below) hit the nail on the head…
Milt F. Apr 24 Response to an NIL Article
He’s (Ruiz) a billionaire signing a point guard transfer to 400,000 per year. It’s a win-win for both, and this will become the new norm… And he’s (Pack) making more than if he were playing in Europe…the ripple effect of this will be beyond our wildest imaginations. As for him not choosing Ohio State, it has nothing more to do with it than money. So, when Ohio State sits down and realizes that football is king, but you still gotta act like you care about basketball, it will be interesting to watch the lumbering giant of the Ohio State athletic department try to keep pace with the more fluid athletic departments of places like Miami.
So has the NIL-Transfer Portal scene become the college version of free agency, the new wild, wild West? Not yet, but there is plenty of potential for this scenario to evolve into it. There’s still time to get there. It’ll take Congress and the NCAA 2-3 more years to get their stuff together.
Exciting times for collegiate athletes – get those Dinars while you can. Exciting times for well-heeled, up & coming universities – get those players while you can.
A couple of notable, recent articles on the subject.