The transfer portal + NIL + no serious rules = chaos

Charles Pierce, one of my favorite writers, has an interesting piece about the new head of the NCAA, Charlie Baker [wondering if LAUte knows him from his health care practice] and NIL.

I think I generally agree with his prognostication that it is a Sisyphean challenge to put the genie back in the bottle (mixed metaphors are fun).


Last spring, there was a spate of stories, all sourced to the NCAA, about “problems” with the NIL system. Sports Illustrated ran a story in which the NCAA enforcement apparatus warned that it would not tolerate NIL deals that violated what’s left of the NCAA’s moronic rulebook. Several high-profile coaches—most notably Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher—have gone public with their own solutions, Fisher has suggested that Congress get involved. Electing Tommy Tuberville to the Senate apparently has given every half-bright football coach in the South the idea that he’s John C. Calhoun. Nice job, Georgia.

Remarkably enough, the NCAA seems inclined toward ol’ Jimbo’s figurin’. As economist Andrew Zimbalist pointed out to WBUR, a public radio station in Boston, the organization has a wish list for Congress on the subject. It wants the ability to regulate the NIL market, certainly, but it also wants an exemption from the antitrust laws that would prevent further lawsuits like the one that opened the floodgates, and lawsuits that ultimately might force the NCAA to pay athletes legitimate salaries. This is right in Charlie Baker’s wheelhouse. His real gifts always have been as a lobbyist. It was how he built up Harvard Pilgrim, which, in turn, is how he got elected governor in the first place. The man is a born front man.

Thus Baker can sell the NCAA’s real goal—regaining control of its badly paid workforce—without looking like he’s doing that. He has a long push up a dirt road. Already, Senator—Gawd—Tuberville, of all people, has said that an antitrust exemption is not on the agenda for this Congress. Tuberville and Senator Joe Manchin are working on a bill to “establish national standards” to regulate the NIL market. This, of course, is none of Congress’s damn business and likely will end up only as a smorgasbord for trial lawyers.

My problem with his piece is that he seems to think that running college athletics like the Wild West is just fine. If that’s allowed sooner or later people will see the wheels falling off every car in the race and either something panicky will be done or college athletics will no longer have anything to do with college. It’s better to act now, or at least to try.


I think this will happen no matter what, and I am mostly sure that isn’t anything the NCAA can do about it short of getting Congress to pass a federal law of some kind.

When you can earn more playing college football that you would earn playing in the NFL on a rookie contract…yeah it’s a problem.

I think it says more about how weak the NFLPA is currently. There is a reason my friend doesn’t get healthcare because they took a deal that he’s not covered because he’s three games from qualifying and no team wanted to sign him. NFL Blows.

I am not big on regulation like that but in this case I’d make an exception. (But no one in Congress ever checks with me about these things. It’s very depressing.)


I kinda want to see NIL destroy college football, just for fun.

What if it is keeping more kids in college to graduate? Remember when everyone was really concerned about all the kids leaving college early? The NIL seems to be stemming that.

That would be a very misleading and one dimensional assessment if its impact and one that utterly avoids the larger impact on academics and the university mission and integrity of college sports.

a few hundred diploma aside, what other impacts is it having on the “kids”?

This is a giant multifaceted problem with a few people making ridiculous money (while most don’t) but its impacts are not just simple or linear.

And sadly the ripple effects are also going to impact a lot of students who have nothing to do with sports. May not change much (negatively) for the top 25 schools but it certainly does for the majority.

Maybe it’s time to move the new openly pro tier of amateur sports out of the Universities. :man_shrugging:t2:. Universities could just sponsor the team names for a fee like businesses do with stadiums :woozy_face:


So, this piece of news came across my vision today. Basically, the world’s worst WeWork space :slight_smile:

That joke aside (not even my joke), I wonder if the University is going to charge an access fee to the “Advantage Center”. These athletic departments are seeing the athletes finally getting paid, and charging that fee would be a nice step for getting in on the action.

It will be interesting to see how this is really setup. Having a sales team that can secure more NIL deals does seem to be an advantage. Also, nice to have it more in house than with booster groups.

Saw another joke about this today.

Should be called the “Taking Advantage Center”.


Can’t resist, one more joke I read. I wonder if they will have one of those money booths where the bills float around and depending on how valuable you are, you get more time in the booth.

The Taking Advantage Center is what every college did pre-NIL.

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Meh. I wouldn’t trust outkick the coverage. This is a group who twists articles to make a political statement. It’s a second hand account reporting.

Good for Saban!

Wild that an Alabama basketball player rates higher than any Alabama football player. Also, it’s interesting to see who is valued at what:

Not shocked valuations are more about nepotism than talent.

Also, this was just rolled out and was alluded to above.

When it comes to NIL, it will be charisma that will propel an athlete into the bigger deals. These are the guys that will be able to add value for their sponsors.


I get Suni the Olympian from Auburn. I’m not sure about Arch Manning. He is flat in interviews. Bronny however is very dynamic and with the Nike deal his Dad already has makes sense. Personally, if I owned a company I am signing value with Linemen and Kickers.