The world of college athletics has seen a major shift over the last few years, and it has nothing to do with over under or other betting options. College athletes are now getting paid for playing, and some are getting paid in a big way.
NCAA used to be the most important acronym when it came to college sports, but NIL is now the only acronym that matters. NIL stands for name, image, and likeness, and that’s the ticket that is now allowing players to get paid.
The NCAA has been taking advantage of college athletes for years, and they have put some ridiculous rules in place to ensure that this was the case. Athletes were making incredible amounts of money for colleges, but weren’t allowed to profit off of their own name, image, or likeness in any way.
That all started to change a few years ago, and lawmakers in several states helped to create this change. What has transpired though has become an even bigger issue than when the athletes weren’t getting paid, and it’s also turned into an absolute nightmare.
Some of these college athletes are now making millions of dollars, and some even make that money before they play a down or make a start. This money isn’t coming from the schools, but rather coming from boosters that only care about the athletics at their alma mater.
On top of this, athletes from the biggest sports are the only ones getting paid, and it’s creating an uneven playing field. Title IX was passed as a way to ensure that women’s sports were equal to men’s sports, but that isn’t the case with the new NIL rules at all.
Regardless of your opinion on the NIL rules, it’s pretty clear to see that this is a recipe for disaster. There will likely be some rules passed at some point to get this thing figured out, but it’s an absolute mess in 2022.
Changes in Recruiting
Not only did the NCAA allow for players to make money on their name, image, and likeness, but they also announced changes to the recruiting process. There is now a transfer portal in every sport and athletes are able to change schools without having to sit out a year.
The transfer portal was already becoming a big problem, but now college coaches have to deal with NIL deals as well. Schools that have the biggest boosters are able to land the top recruits by offering them NIL deals to cash in on.
This has also affected recruiting of HS players as well as each prospect is looking for the best deal when choosing a school. There already isn’t enough parity in most of the top college sports, and that’s going to become even worse as the biggest schools keep paying for the best players.
Perhaps the only real positive of all of these rule changes is the fact that the entertainment value of college sports should actually improve. The biggest reason for this is that the top players are now staying in school longer, because there is so much money up for grabs.
College athletes used to try to leave school as early as possible in an effort to take advantage of the professional money. Now, potential top draft picks are coming back to school because they can cash in while still getting the college experience.
At some point, the professional leagues are going to fight back against this, because it’s going to hurt their product. It’s hard to build a successful professional franchise if some of the best athletes are staying in school.
Education is Secondary
The biggest reason that the NCAA was created in the first place was to protect the college experience and ensure that the athletes were students first. This was also important to every college and institution as graduation rates were just as important as wins on the field or court.
That is no longer the case at all, and the new rules are going to have a major impact on the graduation rates at most schools. Players might be staying in school longer, but they are only doing it as a way to make more money.
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