Slight OT: The Jaden Rashada Saga: is NIL beginning to Jump the Shark?

Being in relatively close Proximity to UF and with multiple colleagues that are Gator fans, this week has been dominated with the news of QB Jaden Rashada and the Drama surrounding his lack of Enrollment at UF this week.

Rashada is a 247 5* QB (composite 4*) and #7 overall QB in the country https://247sports.com/player/jaden-rashada-46085708/

The Athletic Article below provides the best Summary of the situation that I have seen but this is the long-and-short of it. https://theathletic.com/4087681/2023/01/13/jaden-rashada-florida-gators-football/

-Rashada has been pursued by multiple Programs, including Ole Miss, TxA&M, Miami, and LSU. He was considered a lean towards UF initially.
-Over the Summer, he joined a Miami-led 7v7 Team and things changed rapidly, with him postponing his original Announcement date, visiting Miami, and ultimately committing to UM on June 26th.
-This is pure Internet and Message Board Innuendo, but it has been postulated that Miami's NIL offer to Rashada was $9 Million at that time.
-UF reportedly began to back off, but after failing to sign another QB of equivalent skill, UF NIL Collective reportedly reached a deal with Rashada in November for $13 Million leading him to de-commit from UM and verbal to UF.
-Here's where the fun begins---at some point between November and now something (nobody is quite sure what) fell through with the NIL deal. Multiple things have been reported--not providing the funds originally agreed upon, not allowing the full amount funds to be dispersed upon enrollment, ect.
-It was originally reported that Rashada had requested at release from his LOI, which his father later disputed, but noted they were "working through some things," with UF.
-What is known is this---at UF the deadline for Drop/Add was January 13th and as of January 14th, Rashada remains Non-enrolled. NIL appears to be the clear cause of this.

The Gator fans I know seem to be equally split into two camps (1) UF and their NIL arm are incompetent and they
deserve every bit of criticism they can get (2) NIL has gotten to the point of insanity and is actively decreasing their interest in College Football.

My questions are thus.....
1. Does there not clearly need to be a central/standardized "clearinghouse" of sorts for NIL to ensure that NIL deals are viable and the agreed amounts are actually able to be funded?
2. Isn't it logical that there is a requirement that Programs report NIL offers and payouts for every player so that there is some level of transparency rather than this continuous back-room dealing??
3. Its likely only a matter of time before similar scenarios occur at other schools, likely including VT---is NIL starting to decrease your enjoyment of CFB?

Edit: edited for spelling and content

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Comments

I'm a UF alum and was (and still are) very excited for this guy but am worried about the situation. I know a lot of the UF fan base can be pretty obnoxious but it does seem the majority know this isn't a Rashada thing and as you said he's gotten kind of screwed in the situation with the figure he was promised for NIL not being dispersed to him. It isn't a Billy Napier issue but an NIL collective.

Which kind of begs the question how complicated all this gets when you involve these third party organizations that make promises to players and it then reflects on the school and coaching staff if they make empty promises.

I think personally having third parties involved is the worst part of it all. Want to allow teams to throw money around make these third parties deposit the funds into a visible account to prove funds exist and what not. I'm no financier but to me unless you have a contract agreed and signed what are these kids signing or is it all shady handshakes with used car salesman?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Here's the issue: third parties can't make promise inducements to recruits, only players on the roster. They can say "here's what other players are making, you can make something similar" or "based on your social media followers, we think you can make this much" but due to ncaa rules, third parties can't sign a deal with a recruit.

So, yes, the kids are signing a letter of intent with the school, with the understanding that they will receive financial opportunities similar to other peers on the team.

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The issue with 3rd parties is the same with the Pros, who does LeBron James work for? NBA or Nike? Cause Nike pays him way more. Nike even put it in his contract that he gets more money playing in NY or LA, so Nike is influencing which teams LeBron would want to play for.

Millions of people in this country have multiple employers, and just like with Lebron, request from one employer will impact decisions made with respect to the second.

I don't see why this is a problem for Lebron, a college athlete, or anyone else.

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NCAA could (and should) have had some common sense rules in place to manage NIL. School specific collectives should 100% have rules in place governing how (and how much) they can pay student athletes. And to be clear, I'm not suggesting we should cap what a player can earn, I'm simply saying collectives should be regulated differently than say Nike or a Dominos or any national/regional brand that could potentially have athletes from several schools on their payroll. I don't think allowing collectives to buy (bribe) players in exchange for enrollment is how any of this should work. I also think collectives should be scrutinized on what they get in return for money spent...it shouldn't just be a payment in exchange for commitment to a school (pretty sure that would essentially be a wage/bonus/salary which is different than being paid for your NIL, but I'm not a lawyer)...whole thing is the wild west and a complete mess right now because NCAA threw their hands up in defeat rather than understanding/working with the newly defined rules.

I don't have to take this abuse from you, I've got hundreds of people dying to abuse me.

And yet bribing players to play for pay is how it is working and realistically how we all knew it would work.

My personal belief is that college football is already slowly circling the drain (as a competitive sport, not necessarily as a money-making institution) but doesn't seem to know it yet.

The member schools of the P5 conferences (the NCAA basically doesn't exist for college football any more) need to get together to regulate the sport. They need to pay the players as employees, and they need a salary cap. Otherwise, the unfettered bidding wars and under-the-table deals are going to eat the sport from the inside.

As a general fan, college football already bores me. I already know the 6 or 8 teams that have more than a 1% chance to be in the 4-team playoff next year, because it's the same teams every year. (OSU, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma - am I missing anyone?). SNOOOZE. And these NIL debacles are just going to make it worse.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

Or the university presidents/boards could just say "we're out" and get back to their core business...(pipedream, I know).

Whatever regs the NCAA (or some other regulatory body) comes up with, it will still be a perpetual game of cat and mouse. Might as well just let it all play out organically and maybe people will realize feeding the NIL beast isn't such a positive thing after all.

I completely agree. My biggest complaint with the current set up is unlimited free agency. The days of a player redshirting their freshman year and staying with the same team to develop into a contributor are gone. Mid level teams are becoming a minor league feeder system for teams in the SEC. Add to that the regional rivalries slowly going away due to big tv deal conferences and college football loses most of its appeal.

Who could have possibly forseen these kinds of problems?

/s

College football is definitely coming to the endgame at this point. Like most things, once the money takes over the final result becomes inevitable. The only question is how long it takes.

I enjoyed the CFP semifinals games this year, but I can already tell you im checked out when it's gonna be UGa, Bama, OSU, and (pick one of 3-4 possible teams).

And I will be even less interested the year after that

Just start an NFL minor league system for guys 18-22 and get it over with.

The colleges that are making all the money would never go for this. The rest of them would have no say anyway

In response to the two Gator camps:

(1)UF and their NIL arm are incompetent and they deserve every bit of criticism they can get

Yes. Florida has sucked at this for a long time.

(2) NIL has gotten to the point of insanity

Yes. Tom Brady is making like $15 million this year. If the reports are true that there is a nearly ten-figure number on the table for a high school student, then we've achieved ridiculousness. As well as clear desperation on the part of the UF NIL collective(s). See my response to (1)

To answer your questions, of course with the regular minimal amount of thought I give to most things:

1. Does there not clearly need to be a central/standardized "clearinghouse" of sorts for NIL to ensure that NIL deals are viable and the agreed amounts are actually able to be funded?

Nah. Programs are going to manage this and some will make commitments they can live up to and others won't. The ones that won't will gain a terrible reputation pretty quickly and will tank a program. I'm going to let the 'free market' decide this one.

2. Isn't it logical that there is a requirement that Programs report NIL offers and payouts for every player so that there is some level of transparency rather than this continuous back-room dealing??

I don't think this is the responsibility of the program. The players aren't public employees, are they? So their deals are private contracts instead of things that need to be publicly disclosed. Of course, IANAL.

3. Its likely only a matter of time before similar scenarios occur at other schools, likely including VT---is NIL starting to decrease your enjoyment of CFB?

Nah, it'll be fine. I'd rather see DeColdest get his HVAC deal and Findlayter get his air tag deal and that Popeye's meme kid get his Popeye's NIL. The rich will continue to be rich because their alums pay into the program, aTm will continue to see poor returns on their investments, and in the end the programs that do the most with what they have will be successful.

It's the same as it's always been - and I'm more interested in what happens on the field between scorned historic rivals than I am interested in tracking who is getting paid what. You know, like historic rivals Southern Cal and Rutgers. Historically significant Big Ten programs.

I think the conferences are harming CFB more than NIL is.

Tom Brady is making like $15 million this year

This is his salary. Accordingly some articles, he's made about $293M in salary over 22 years and $180M in endorsements (a form of NIL). His TB12 brand is now making a lot of money, and has been estimated to earn him $20M year. So, he makes a pretty good deal more via his name, image, and likeness .

That said, the use of NIL is being abused and treated as a salary. Collectives are throwing stupid money at players with the guise of NIL. And it is stupid that the # 7 HS player is able to make a fake salary near the same amount as the salary of a top NFL QB.

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Well, college kids cannot play 22 years unless they are name Stetson. And the TB12 is the definition of NIL correct? (I believe you noted this, but I'm terrible at comprehension.) I'm not against what you said at all, just thinking that it is the counterpoint to folks that dislike NIL.

I for one wished it was roped in better to begin with, but that is such a lost cause now.

Yea. TB12 is the pinnacle of making money off of one's own NIL (just at the professional level). The purpose of NIL was to grant these opportunities to college players, in which their name, image, and likeness has a value to it and that value can be had in the open market. It was never supposed to be a salary, but that's how some of these college collectives are treating it.

Part of my point is that HS player NIL true value is really really small. It took Tom Brady years and several SB MVPs to truly make significant money of off his NIL, and his endorsement deals were less than $10M year over his 22 years. TB12 started a decade after his first SB win. So, how is it that the 7th rated QB HS recruit has a name, image and likeness that is worth $13M? Nobody knows who this kid is, yet somehow his "name, image, and likeness" is worth $13M on an open market?

My major point is that NFL salary isn't really supposed to be comparable to NIL, because they're two different things that are mutually exclusive. NFL salary is tied to the player's predicted ability on the playing field. NIL is based on fame, which is typically a combination of past performance and showmanship. And I think that distinction that is getting lost or not getting adequate attention in the media. It's like everyone has already accepted that NIL it is a substitute for salary for collegiate players.

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Of course, IANAL.

Umm...

I'm assuming "I Am Not A Lawyer."

Though I have no personal knowledge to confirm or refute a different reading.

Right.

I am kind of loving NIL because it's such a shit show. Look at Texas A&M and their great recruiting. You never hear about Bama because they are probably just doing what they've always done. It's just a shit show that really amuses me.

Realignment hurt cause we don't play WVU anymore. The big 12 is just wierd now. The Big Ten will be odd with UCLA and USC.

But a couple of scheduling fixes could make the game more enjoyable.

The biggest thing that has ruined the sport, to me, is the media. I can't stand the media anymore. I hate the in game announcers as they just are terrible. But more than anything I hate ESPN. It's just people yelling over everyone to tell you how good their properties are. Wait until they start talking down the Big Ten because they don't have the contracts anymore. They promote the SEC soo much and sure Bama is better than just about everyone else, we are at an unprecedented time as college football is now worse than the 80s/90s UM/FSU monopoly. But that will end at sometime, Saban will retire. Kirby has to keep it going which most coaches say is harder than building. It would be nice just to see more teams talked about. The over selling of the playoff just kills the fun of the season, the rating if SEC teams higher than they deserve kills the polls, just let the BCS computers decide.

Does there not clearly need to be a central/standardized "clearinghouse" of sorts for NIL to ensure that NIL deals are viable and the agreed amounts are actually able to be funded?

Why? Are there any other sports league that vet players' endorsement deals?

Isn't it logical that there is a requirement that Programs report NIL offers and payouts for every player so that there is some level of transparency rather than this continuous back-room dealing??

Again - why?

is NIL starting to decrease your enjoyment of CFB?

No, I dont know why it would. Nothing has changed. Players have been getting paid for decades. The only thing that has changed is that it's semi-public now.

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Piggybacking on point 2, and to be technically correct, the "Programs" aren't the ones offering the NIL deals, right? They're not the ones signing the checks, right? I assume there would be coordination with the school, but it's outside entities, so, unless I'm wrong about that, the school wouldn't/shouldn't report anything related to NIL deals.

Yeap. Schools, by rule, can't be involved with NIL (at least, they can't broker deals).

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That's what I thought. I imagine there's some level of interaction so the kids a school want most will get the best offers. I don't know if that straight lines up with recruiting ranking or not.

This is one of the issues... the booster(s) running the collective can work with the recruit, but the coach can't talk about NIL with the recruit. This is problematic for two reasons

  • The number of parties the recruit has to deal with has just doubled, making the recruiting process more difficult
  • The collective and the coach may not be aligned

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Yeah seems like there are a lot more moving parts both for the recruit and the school. Good grief.

Why? Are there any other sports league that vet players' endorsement deals?

Again - why?

Well, the prevailing theory on what happened in this scenario was that the "middlemen" for the Florida NIL group brokered the deal with Rashada but when the time came to open up the wallets, the actual "money men" decided they weren't interested in paying that much. Kid showed up, a significant amount less than $13mil was there and he's now in limbo.

So, having a mechanism by which NIL deals must be verified/authorized would really only protect the Athletes, so that they don't show up on Campus only to find out that what they were promised isn't there. Since NIL is supposed to be so beneficial for these horribly disadvantaged young adults, making sure that they don't get screwed over would seem to be rational.

Moreso, no other "league" vets endorsement deals because they don't have to. They have Collective Bargaining Agreements and Unions that make sure that contracts are honored. There is no League in CFB, so not really sure what your point is there. If the point is that College Athletes should be allowed to Unionize and negotiate their own foundation for NIL, then I am in full agreement, if the idea is that continuing the Wild West approach is somehow going to be sustainable or beneficial for the majority of College Athletes, I couldn't disagree more strongly.

Yes, players have been getting paid for decades, but if you think Programs were paying 7+ figure deals consistently, you're being incredibly naive.....you can't hide that type of money under the table. To not acknowledge that this current system is a significant deviation from what occurred before is ridiculous.

So, it sounds like issue would be resolved if this was a professional league that functioned like every other professional league, no?

This was the line of questioning I was fishing for. The problem isn't NIL; the problem is amateurism in a sport that generates revenue. It's set up to fail.

Yes, players have been getting paid for decades, but if you think Programs were paying 7+ figure deals consistently, you're being incredibly naive.....you can't hide that type of money under the table.

The things is, most players aren't getting that money now. Your Reggie bushes and Trevor Lawrence's will. But Nico at Tennessee got up to $2m/year, with $300k guaranteed. Collectives aren't paying many kids 7 figures.

Edit: correction

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Moreso, no other "league" vets endorsement deals because they don't have to. They have Collective Bargaining Agreements and Unions that make sure that contracts are honored.

Right, and the pro players are also allowed to hire people to represent them and ensure they aren't getting screwed, but college kids can't or the NCAA won't let them play.

but college kids can't or the NCAA won't let them play.

This is no longer the case - I believe (check me on this) that the NCAA allows players to hire agents as long as those agents don't work in the pros or have any professional clients.

However, this opens the door for a lot of bad actors. Professional athletes are misled all the time by agents and managers; college athletes have less resources to vet these individuals. Additionally, by excluding agents who have worked with professional athletes, you're excluding a lot (if not the majority) of legitimate agents.

The whole thing is a shit show.

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So just to piggyback on that some....

I've gotten deeper down the Rabbit Hole on this situation than I ever cared to but there is clearly a huge opportunity for bad actors to insert themselves into the NIL space.

In Rashada's case, he was represented (at least since November) by JTM Sports---which consists of (1) a 22 yr. old Real Estate Agent (2) a 21 y/r old who is (or was) still attending SMU Last Fall and (3) Darren Heitner, a Ft. Lauderdale lawyer who has his hands all over the NIL space and brands himself as an "NIL Lawyer"

https://www.on3.com/nil/news/jaden-rashada-florida-gators-football-recruiting-jtm-sports-nil-representation/

So, you have "representation" who have essentially zero experience, expertise, or any level of Resume that would imply that they are effective agents. And Heitner, who is (or has been) closely involved in the Gator Collective NIL that was part of the Rashada NIL deal---a MASSIVE and obvious conflict of interest.

I can't imagine where anyone could see any problems developing in this situation.

Prior to November, when Rashada was still committed Miami, he was (on some level at least) represented by a Lawyer in Newport, CA, presumably that relationship ended when he decomitted from Miami.

So the general S.O.P. for NIL seems to be this---find "Representation" that also has ties to the NIL group or groups for the School you are interested in signing with. Then they help broker the deal with the NIL collective(s), presumably with the promise that they can help the Athlete get max $$$ and then, assuredly, the Representation gets to keep a cut of said $$$.

Shit show Indeed--like an ill-advised 3 AM trip to Taco Bell after hammering Natty Light all night kind of Shit Show.

edit: grammar/clarity

The loose rules around NIL and the Transfer Portal are killing the game IMO. Gone are the days of watching a stable team for 2 years straight (forget about 4 years). NIL's aren't binding, commitments are definitely non binding. It's just crazy to think about how much the game has changed since our Natty run.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

Generally speaking, third parties are unable to regulate a private contract between two parties. So none of these proposals would be able to be set up by the NCAA, the conferences, or the universities. Only the contracting parties can agree to such a situation.

For any true change, it likely would have to come from some sort of NCAA players union. I do imagine one will be developed in due time, but it's unclear whether a clearinghouse or something of that sort would be in best interests of the NCAA players, but it's definitely possible. I could see it being in the mutual players' benefit to ensure the NIL deals are fair amongst the players and to further ensure that they are able to be executed.

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Players should be allowed to acquire agents to negotiate these contracts and properly vet NIL collectives. Opens a whole other can of worms but could at least benefit the players searching NIL deals.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Players should be allowed to acquire agents to negotiate these contracts

They can. Or a lawyer.

Here's a list (no idea how accurate or vetted): NIL Agencies

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Except nothing is a contract or contractual and noone is protected from fraud or shady dealing.
This puts the athletes a significant disadvantage with the NIL because they will be the ones with no experience and likely no upfront money for agent or legal representation.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Except nothing is a contract or contractual

Huh? What do you mean? Everything NIL is a contractual agreement. NIL collective pays player X amount, player must perform Y to earn X.

I mean, I guess you could also gift a player, but if that gift is over a certain amount, the taxes would fall on the donor. I doubt NIL collectives are giving gifts and then paying 40% taxes on top of it, but idk.

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Well, it appears our buddy the QB that WAS going to FL did not have a contract in-hand. Ifhe did and had a competent lawyer draw it up, he'll get a least a large portion of that contract for failure to perform from the NIL negotiators.

If he did not, prior to the date he was to enroll, then my statement stands, there was no contract for $13mil.
Which means the kid was to enroll on the nonbinding agreement of payment. No way I'd agree to that.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

OK. I see what you're saying. And you're absolutely right in that aspect. According to NCAA rules, NIL deals cannot be used for recruiting. Thus, a recruit cannot sign an NIL contract that would have an impact on attending a University and thus cannot sign an agreement with a University-associated collective prior to enrollment. So, you're right, there are no contracts in place or a contractual agreement. It's a wink-wink nudge-nudge "agreement" prior to that point.

The actual NIL deal is a contract between the player and the collective.

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NIL deals cannot be used for recruiting. Thus, a recruit cannot sign an NIL contract that would have an impact on attending a University and thus cannot sign an agreement with a University-associated collective prior to enrollment. So, you're right, there are no contracts in place or a contractual agreement. It's a wink-wink nudge-nudge "agreement" prior to that point.

Bingo - As I understand it, typically recruits are shown historical information and will deduce their value from there. For example, if Current Player X was a 4-star recruit, is a starting QB on Team A, 2nd team all-conference, making $250k in NIL, and Recruit Y is a 5-star QB with a (perceived) higher ceiling than Player X, then Recruit Y will assume they will make at least $250k in NIL.

This is why everyone inflates (aka lies) about how much they're making:

  • Player X and Recruit Y are both incentivized to exaggerate their take home so they have a higher floor in any future NIL negotiations.
  • Representatives (agents, high school coaches, etc) get more 'clients' if their current ones appear to make more money
  • Coach and Boosters want everyone to appear to make as much money as possible, so that other good players are attracted to their team

At this point, I think you can drop a zero from any rumored number. The exceptions being players like Bryce Young, who have starred in commercials for national brands.

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If there is one thing we know about America and Capitalism in general is that successful businesses don't purposely lose money/enter into losing deals. They don't. In fact the opposite is often true- thus the words business and capitalism. Loss leaders like the Prius are few and far between and even those have a ROI date in most cases. So if you ask yourself, why would Shelor Motor Mile give Mansoor Delane 5 million dollars, the answer is that they wouldn't. Just like in the early days of the internet when people legit thought car dealers would take a loss on a car because you have done your research. lmao. Those dealers are out of business. They won't take a loss, they won't "make it up with service", they won't sell it to you for less than they paid. full fucking stop. These companies aren't taking losses to pay college athletes. trust that.

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

My personal belief is that college football is already slowly quickly circling the drain (as a competitive sport, not necessarily as a money-making institution) but doesn't seem to know it yet. So same general thoughts as Steve above but I am thinking the end is closer than most think.

As an engineer, I think I'm pretty good at spotting trends in data. And the warning lights are all flashing red. People just aren't seeing them because football is fun to watch and college football has historically been a good time.

But just a handful of cases in point:
- Saban calling at ATM for buying their class. They did and that's a bit our sour grapes on Nick's part that he didn't get the pick of the litter like usual.
- USCw's "amazing" rapid rebuild. Journalists acted like it was amazing. It isn't. They just bought a good coach and team. They brought over the Heisman winner from OU, bought the Belitnikoff award winner to be a target, etc. It's no different than a professional sports club going all in on free agency. Or a promoted soccer team using their transfer window to buy better players.
- Portal rules are basically unlimited free agency. There are no contracts so college sports is actually more fluid than the pros. Think about that. Any star player can pick his school and his compensation.
- Rashada example showing the hypocrisy of some "commitments". He was chasing the bag and most players are going to. A 19-year old kid is probably going to outearn, over a lifetime, the lion's share of the college graduate posters here just by signing with U of F. That's insane. Why would I want to donate to support such a system?
- For every Drake Maye, I imagine there are multiple guys who want to or have to sign with a school to get some economic security for themselves and their family. Why wouldn't they?
- The Athletic had an article a month ago describing how senior transfers could make a million bucks going to a P5 school while a guy like Sam Howell made ~350k guaranteed being a 5th round pick of commanders. That's insane. Are there any other majors at VT where I can make multiples more money as an intern rather than as an employee in the field?!?

College football is an absolute shit show now. It is just going to take time for people to recognize the symptoms and then deal with the cognitive dissonance between a sport that they loved 5-10 years ago and the one that is a broken, devolving mess in 2023.

nailed it.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Braxton Burmeister, Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Holy hot take!

College football is an absolute shit show now. It is just going to take time for people to recognize the symptoms and then deal with the cognitive dissonance between a sport that they loved 5-10 years ago and the one that is a broken, devolving mess in 2023.

I actually feel the opposite - In my bubble(s), almost everyone is talking about how 'this is the end of college football.' Every fan I know 'recognizes it' and complains about it plenty. I find it exhausting and poorly thought out.

I'll grant you that the sport in 10 years from today will be completely different than it was 10 years ago, but I'm not ready to throw my hands up and say the future will absolutely suck.

The Athletic had an article a month ago describing how senior transfers could make a million bucks going to a P5 school while a guy like Sam Howell made ~350k guaranteed being a 5th round pick of commanders. That's insane. Are there any other majors at VT where I can make multiples more money as an intern rather than as an employee in the field?!?

I'll address this first, because it's total bullshit.

  • Public NIL numbers are at best poorly reported, at worst completely inaccurate. I talked about this a while ago here, and how we MUST take all NIL numbers reported with a large grain of salt.
    • First of all, there is no reliable dataset on what players are taking home, so unless a contract is shared with someone, it's all unverified.
    • Secondly, you must remember that everyone (players, schools, agents, collectives, literally everyone) is incentivized to share inflated their numbers.
    • Thirdly, there's a lot of fine print in these contracts that is not captured in 'Player X signed a deal for $2 million' - in the case of Nico Iamaleava, his deal with a Tennessee collective could get him as much as $8m in a 4 year career at Tennessee, but only $350k is guaranteed (source). A lot of money either way, but there's a big difference between $350k and $8m.
  • Additionally, comparing endorsements in college to NFL salaries is inaccurate; NFL players get a salary from their employer, AND can seek endorsement deals. A quick google says that the minimum NFL salary is >$700k/year. It doesn't count any other business ventures. I doubt there's (m)any players who would lose money by going to the NFL.
  • Finally, even if players are making more in college than they would in the NFL, isn't this a good thing? Want more seniors, more 4 & 5 year players in college football? Want less post season opt outs? This is how you do it.

Saban calling at ATM for buying their class. They did and that's a bit our sour grapes on Nick's part that he didn't get the pick of the litter like usual.

It wasn't sour grapes. Saban was speaking to a room full of boosters about how they should spend their money. Alabama was lagging in NIL infrastructure, and he was trying to send a message to his boosters to get on it.

Rashada example showing the hypocrisy of some "commitments". He was chasing the bag and most players are going to. A 19-year old kid is probably going to outearn, over a lifetime, the lion's share of the college graduate posters here just by signing with U of F. That's insane. Why would I want to donate to support such a system?

The whole idea of committing is so stupid. You know why this isn't an issue in professional sports? Because in professional sports there's collective bargaining and job offers and whatnot. None of this 'commit' bullshit.

Look, I get that this isn't the college football that we've all grown up with. IMO, that was ended by HUDL, 247/Rivals, and the internet in general knocking down geographic boundaries. I also get that NIL, Transfer Portal, etc take away a lot of the mystique from the game; you can't ignore the sausage factory that is recruiting. Fans can no longer pretend that these players are doing it just for 'love of the game'. The veil has been removed, and we have a live view into the seedy underworld of college sports.

That said, I think college football can and will continue to be really special. I'm honestly optimistic for the (long term) future of the sport (side note, when I get some time I want to write a longer form post on this). I have no concerns whatsoever about NIL negatively impacting the sport. I have mild concerns about how the transfer portal will impact the sport. I am somewhat worried that the 12 team playoff will detract from the sport (however, if the first 3 rounds are played on home fields, a rumored possibility in the post 2026 TV contract, I will change my opinion here). I am the most worried about realignment.

Time will tell, but I'm excited to see what happens.

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The problem with it is that it's a game of unequals. Always has been, but with unregulated NIL, it will get even worse.

Great if your team is one of the "haves", not so great if your team is a "have not". Sort of cements most teams where they are in the hierarchy.

The NCAA had an opportunity to implement some kind of regulated NIL structure. Players could have been compensated in some fair, but limited way, with heavy penalties for cheating, but I guess the SEC would never have gone along with that. So instead, they sanctioned the "wild wild west" format, which further enshrines college football as the JV league for the NFL, with inequities baked into the cake and growing.

The big money going into college sports distorts it. If you don't control that distortion, it grows.

The problem with it is that it's a game of unequals. Always has been, but with unregulated NIL, it will get even worse.

Great if your team is one of the "haves", not so great if your team is a "have not". Sort of cements most teams where they are in the hierarchy.

I agree that the sport has always been rife with inequity, but I don't think NIL changes that. In the last 30 years we've seen just 3 schools enter the 'blueblood' tier (Florida, LSU, and Clemson).

Are we cemented into this hierarchy? I would argue that there is:

  1. More mobility than every in the middle and lower levels of the sport (which includes everyone in FBS other than the bluebloods). It's easier than ever to be a Boise State, a UCF, etc. And with the new 12 team playoff, those teams will get the opportunity to participate that they've been begging for.
  2. A more straight forward path to become a blueblood - In the past, opportunity was largely dictated by how close players are to your school and who your school was friends with 100 years ago. Now, it's about how financially devoted your boosters and school leadership are. VT is one rich booster away from returning to the top of the sport.

with heavy penalties for cheating

Herein lies the problem: The NCAA does not have subpoena power, so they can't investigate. If you are an NCAA athlete, and the NCAA says 'hey I think you did something wrong, can you show me your text messages?' are you going to oblige? Fuck no.

Could the NCAA try to take legal action against players or schools? They could try, BUT they've lost every anti-trust case since 1984!

There's one way out: The NCAA can make players employees. But they don't want to do that.

This is why amateurism is untenable.

Players could have been compensated in some fair, but limited way

Everyone in this thread (and others) uses the word 'fair'. People don't want 'fair' - Fair means the best players get the most money, and choose schools based on what is offered. Y'all want parity for schools/programs (just like we have in the NFL). Obviously, that's a reasonable opinion to have, but 'fair' is not the correct word for that.

Sorry to pick on you over the definition of 'fair', but it's a vague term that is overused.

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...Nico Iamaleava...

No way he stays at Tennessee through his college career. He'll hit the portal in search for bigger, better, NIL deals, I'll bet.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

I had to read this at least 5 times before I got the joke

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It deserves the legs.

I can't say I'm all in with your take, but you do offer some good food for thought and solid arguments. Well done.

Thank you. I put a bit of thought into that post.

I'm not saying that this NIL system is perfect (or even good at all), but (a) it's an improvement over the last system, and (b) it's going to take time for the market to normalize; we just don't know what that will look like.

Also, in general, new & different does not necessarily = bad.

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Why would I want to donate to support such a system?

This is really at the center of the issue and seems to be where the breakdown @ UF was. When push came to shove, the people actually funding the NIL didn't see the value in it for them.

And given how the NIL system currently "functions" its hard not to blame them. It's funneling money without any guarantee of any return or even that said Player won't be playing for your Rival one year from now.

People with that kind of money generally don't get there by making risky investments with questionable (if any) ROI.

Psychologically, I think it's a lot different than donating for new training equipment, meeting room, or to a General Athletics fund. There is something tangible there and, hell, if you donate enuf, they might even name something after you.

Also, in regards to "they've always been paying the players" --that ignores the fact that in many cases the payouts were from Agents (or middlemen associated with them) with the understanding that the return would be for the Athlete to sign with said Agency after college. See Bush, Reggie and Williamson, Zion.

The idea of Boosters and supporters of the Program to essentially be paying Athletes simply to show up with no guarantee of anything coming back to them is a new paradigm.

I think the answer to that initial question is: "do you ever pay to watch a pro sport team play? Donating to NIL for your college team is sorta like that. Pro teams pay their players and you're fine with it. Now colleges are able to get their players money via NIL, and you don't like it, but by not donating, that just puts your school behind all the other schools who's fans will donate. You not donating won't change anything other than how much your school has for NIL deals."

But that's not really a 1-to-1 comparison. Pro teams pay their players through their own revenue streams (largely TV money as it is in CFB). In CFB, the Programs are not allowed to directly contribute to NIL, so their TV revenue, ticket revenue, ect. all is allocated within the Athletic Program (and whereever else within the University).

What is happening right now in CFB is akin to the Ravens sending their fans an E-mail stating "Hey, we really need to resign Lamar Jackson this Offseason and we're not sure we have enough money, so we'd sure love it if you would send us $500."

In fact, that's really applying more credit to the situation than is really due because Jackson at least has several years of NFL results to prove his worth--a High School player is essentially an unknown quantity who can also up and leave pretty much whenever they want at this point.

Most people would balk at donating money to a Professional Player's contract because there is a general feeling that Pro Athletes are overpaid, but its somehow different for college players because they are "amateurs?"

Maybe the idea of everyone else is doing NIL, so if you don't contribute, your Program is just gonna fall behind is enough incentive for some people to donate to NIL Collectives, but for me the value proposition is simply not there.

That's why I said it's "sorta" like that. I know it's not 1-to-1. And to me it seems like an NIL deal should be worth what a player can make a company in revenue from their name, image, or likeness, but it doesn't seem to be really operating like that. Instead it just seems like the loophole for being able to pay kids regardless of anything actually related to their NIL, so now donating to a pool from which players can be paid is something else that's on the table.

Agreed on that.

NIL is not really NIL at this point...its Pay for Play. And even the most Outstanding H.S. player had limited NIL value before actually even enrolling or playing in college.

I had never heard of Jaden Rashada prior to the past week, yet his name alone has a value of $13mil??? In a small college town in probably the least populated part of the state??

Which was really the whole point of this post..is this one of the first signs that NIL (as currently constructed) is not viable?? The "correct" answer to that is "time will tell," I suppose, but I think many Programs are likely to see less and less buy-in by their donor bases until this collapses on itself.

If a VT affiliated outfit sent you an email asking for $500 so they can pay a couple 5 stars to transfer/sign, I think MOST fans would be happy to shell out.

If you look at international soccer (which seems like where this is headed), there is a ton of transfer window interest, and teams compete by signing younger/less proven players to build relationships early and lock them in for longer contracts. Funding 7-7 leagues and youth teams in the state, plaster everything with your schools branding, and getting kids invested as early as possible could pay big dividends.

Somewhat related, you can look at the NBA initiatives to build basketball courts in less privileged countries to increase interest in the sport. I don't think it's a coincidence there's been a big increase in international talent 5-10 years after the leagues started investing in international youth development/scouting.

My question is, how does this affect the NFL long term? I mean, if a kids (and large numbers of them) can generate over $1 million during their collegiate careers (and many of those kids, much more) then why even go to the league? Take your money and begin your life. You're already ahead of 99% of your peers at that point.

Is coronavirus over yet?

There will be players that stay their senior year, instead of going to the league to be a 6th/7th round pick (see Sam Hartman), but you're talking about a very small number of players (mostly QBs) who are getting seven-figure deals. This $13mil one didn't even actually happen, because they couldn't get it funded (probably because anyone who had the money to do so realized it was a dumb idea), and most of the reported values for the high-dollar deals to high school QBs are only the potential values, and likely aren't guaranteed, like the difference in guaranteed, and potential contract values in the NFL.

That is to say, very few players, if any would be able to live comfortably off NIL deals, and those that could will be able to make a lot more in the NFL.

It's interesting bc Rashada's father said NIL wasn't a determination in choosing a school yet he failed to enroll when things went sideways with the NIL collective. I mean if you want to be at FL then you can still enroll and sue or do whatever to the NIL collective since it's separate from the university.

I suppose he can still enroll in the summer and I realize that no one is gonna say "NIL is the reason I am signing at X school".

But $13m for an unproven college recruit?? Insane no wonder the donors were like "ummm no" when the agreed upon deal needed funding.

This seems more like an over promise by people who couldn't produce. Will be interesting to see what happens next.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

This needs to happen. It needs to happen a lot more. It will eventually expose what is genuine and what isn't. Hopefully, it will expose what a player's true value is. I think there are some people out there blowing smoke up kids ashes, and convincing them they're far more valuable than they are. Sadly, the delusions of worth aren't limited to athletes and high schoolers. I participate in most all of our interviews. Usually someone asks the applicant how much they think they'd like to make. The fresh grads have some astronomical answers that I can't begin to tie to any market in our industry.

So, I feel like I'm in the minority here, but I don't mind NIL at all. If UF boosters wanna pony up 13 mil for an incoming freshman so be it. Money doesn't fix everything, look at Texas A&M, USC paid Addison and a bunch of other players but still lost to Utah twice. I agree this definitely affects G5 schools who won't be able to compete because they don't have the funds, but upsets still happened last year.

College football never had parity, not in the BCS era, not in the CFP era, kids were always getting paid, just under the table. Are the NIL amounts insane, yes, is it insane that some kids are making more than NFL players, yes. But honestly I'd rather these kids get paid while they can. They play probably the most violent game on earth and mos don't make it out unscathed. You could argue that they're getting a full ride to a quality education, but let's be serious, if you don't eat, breathe, and sleep football, you're not starting. Education takes a backseat. Kids like QP are even dissuaded from doing majors like engineering because they're too much work, I think Arian Foster said UT wouldn't let him choose the major he wanted either because it was too much work, etc. So I'm not against anyone making a buck. If college kids with a million followers on social media can make some cash, give athletes the chance to do so as well.

I have to admit that I didn't see the third party (Booster Collectives) paying upfront money (or structured payouts over 3/4 years) in exchange for players' image rights coming when NIL was introduced. I should have, because image rights have been a driver of controversy in European soccer for awhile as it relates to taxation (players have built in multinational/global followings), and % splits for a player's image rights.

However, I don't know how anyone can look at what Bryce Young has been able to do with NIL (his image rights were not purchased up front by a collective), and think it's a bad thing. He has signed instagram ad deals, done national television commercials, worked with local companies in/around Tuscaloosa, and has been paid for the use of his likeness based on the value he has created for himself as the star QB at Alabama. It's exactly what anyone who was pro-NIL wanted to become the reality. It's difficult to find numbers on this, but Bryce Young has allegedly made around $2-4M over the last couple seasons depending on the source. What we can glean from this is the high-end college QB's actual market value in endorsements they generate, which leads to what I am somewhat nervous about regarding collectives.

Scenario: A collective pays up front for a the top HS QB's image rights. They set up a contract to give him $8M over 3 years. Theoretically, they can make a return on this investment if he ends up inking actual NIL deals over the next 3 years in an amount greater than $8M. Based on what Nissan Heisman House commercial, Heisman winning Alabama QB Bryce Young produced in natural endorsements, it appears unlikely that the player will actually generate that much.

Is this an issue? For a great player, probably not, and most of these boosters probably aren't expecting net a positive return on these deals in cash. They are probably viewing it in the same way as a big donation to the athletic department. The return they want is on the field. This is the potential issue. What happens when that QB is a total bust? How many times are they going to take a multi-million dollar bath on a guy who doesn't produce? Multiple guys who don't produce? A program that fails to turn their millions of NIL deals into a national championship?

These are rich guys willing to spend a lot of money on their football team, but they do want results, and many people are not big fans of lighting millions of dollars on fire. When does the first lawsuit happen, when someone tries to breach a contract.

What happens if the money dries up and they can't pay your QB who is actually a superstar? What happens if they try to get out of paying the rest of the millions promised to the total bust QB? Do you really want to see a lawsuit between a current player and your program's biggest donors? This would obviously be an absolute nightmare scenario.

However, I do think the craziest NIL stuff that will happen is happening right now. It's brand new, and it's the wild west, and people are throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. I think it will eventually cool off, or at least become a bit more calculated for the reasons listed above, among other reasons. You'll still see an aspiring program come out with a big NIL push in the future probably, but I don't think it will be as crazy as it's been so far.

I stopped watching professional sports after the second baseball strike ' cause it stopped being about the sport for me, at that point. It also impacted my enjoyment and thus participation in fandom of all sports.

I specifically started watching College football because I needed an easy hobby for stress relief.

College Football has rapidly gotten to the point where baseball reached at about the second strike.
The fiasco with this HS QB and the amount of money...

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Honest question: did you feel this way about previous high-dollar deals related to college sports, particularly revenue sports? I'm talking about things like TV deals, bowl/tournament sponsorship agreements, big-name coaching hires, etc.

I ask because a lot of people who claim to be upset at "the money in college sports" seem like they only really got upset once the players became part of the equation. For example, you don't hear complaints about bowl commissioners making >$500k/year. Same for video production staff at ESPN, conference commissioners, software developers at EA, designers at Nike/UA/Reebok, etc. They all get paid, and for the most part, no one bats an eye. Even when it comes to coaching salaries, fans generally seem to understand the "rising tide lifts all boats" effect (well, until they pay $4M+ a year for Fuente, but I digress...).

I'm not attacking you -- you have every right to feel the way you do. But I am genuinely curious what it is about the players getting paid that seems to aggravate people much more than literally anyone else involved with college sports.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

That $500k is pretty low, Orange Bowl CEO was making over $1 mil 20 years ago.

For, no joke, a week or two of work as well.

Is it really, though? Isn't there coordination and effort ongoing throughout the year? Maybe not a full-time job, but the work is significant, isn't it?

Isn't it?

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

It's a full time year long job.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Which is just odd to me. Eric Poms(current CEO of the Orange Bowl) has worked for the Orange Bowl since 1993. He was made the 5th CEO in like 2006.

Most of his history prior to CEO talks about the year round negotiations with the BCS. I just don't understand what that looks like on a year long basis. Things have changed a lot since '93, but not THAT much.

I can understand how this happens.

Talk to The Square Society in Roanoke and see how much work it takes to put on Microfestivus. The reason why they don't do it any longer is because the woman that organized it can't do it any longer. Noone else is willing to take on that much work.

We've been trying to find a way so VA ABC will let us put on a festival with the breweries local to Roanoke. We can't get past step 1 without lawyers. It has been several months.

Now expand that out to something the Size of the Orange Bowl.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

But my assumption, which could be wrong, is that the orange bowl has a massive base of work done for you. There is a ticketing department already, heck the seat license holders get first dibs at tickets, so it's already there. Vendors are part of the stadium already. You don't have to schedule the date, it's done for you. Which team sits where, that's a one time thing decided the first year in the Pro-stadium. Once the deals with the Dolphins are finalize to use their infrastructure then what's left? The large heavy lifting is done because the dolphins have done the work.

Having a foot all game in a football stadium that is maintained by another team just seems way lower work than getting permits for a festival. Not all bowls are as easy in my mind as the Orange bowl, but lots just play in football stadiums where vendors and other needs are done.

I was President of the Square Society and left just before COVID happened when my first daughter was born.

There are multiple reasons why we don't do it any longer, mainly it is because of COVID.

COVID has crippled that non-profit and loosening restrictions regarding COVID is still a relatively new thing. Many folks who were once involved on the board are no longer involved. Microfest chair which was one of those board positions was mostly organized by one guy with a team, and he has since left as well. This leaves a big learning curve for new folks who are still on board don't have much experience on the know how of what all to take care of. Microfest also takes 8-10 months to plan so it's very hard to make that decision of "Are we going to do this" that far in advance when COVID was still making people hesitant on going out. I think they would be able to do it fine now, but if they have no already began planning it, I wouldn't be willing to bet it will happen this August either.

Square Society is struggling at the moment with getting back on track, but hopefully they're able to fill a solid board and get back to some of the annual events most of the folks in Roanoke have come to enjoy. There's a lot of work involved with that organization and they're all volunteers, so having 3 years of having their hands tied has kind of put a damper on things.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Thank you.

You are also going to find VA ABC has changed some rule interpretations of regulations.

Problems with Breweries that hold manufacturers licenses and other Breweries that also hold licenses that have food licenses, if anyone on the team that organizes the festival holds any license or, is employed by anyone that holds a license to manufacture alcohol in Virginia or is a retailer that can sell alcohol from any manufacturer in Virginia presents a violation of the 3 tier system, as described to me.

To make it more clear, you can't have anyone associated with the industry on the team that helps to organize the festival.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Licensing the event as a whole wasn't a huge issue for us as no one was employed by an alcohol distributor. But each vendor would have to come and be licensed as well (which ultimately was never an issue either)

I would say dealing with the City was the most pain when organizing that event as they would flip flop where and how we were able to do it year after year.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Yeah, this is new this spring.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Now expand that out to something the Size of the Orange Bowl.

True, but for a million bucks a year I think I could manage. :-)

Cheers, and have a great weekend all!

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

I could also deal with that.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Here's an interesting piece on overpaid, 'non-profit' bowl executives. I found this excerpt somewhat comical:

"Does it pay well? Yes," said Gary Cavalli, former executive director of the now-defunct bowl game in San Francisco. "But it's harder, much more involved, much more stressful than I think the average person would think."

So then what might bring stress to a bowl CEO on a Tuesday or Wednesday in March, long after the bowl season is over?

"March and April is usually when you finalize your deals with the TV network and with the schools," Cavalli said. "What date is my game going to be on this year? Believe it or not, you can have 10 different discussions in meetings with ESPN over what time your game is going to be on and what date your game is going to be on. And sometimes you've got to lobby real hard."

I too have heard (from a variety of people in the Media, most notably Alex Kirshner) that bowl CEO's don't do much - the venue owns everything in the venue (security, concessions, etc), ESPN takes care of everything related to the broadcasting (and, if it's one of the bowl games that is 'owned' by ESPN, they do much more than just broadcasting). Bowl CEO just has to find a title sponsor (done way in advanced) and do some press.

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Bingo. Everyone within the industry I've heard speak on or write about this says it's a miniscule amount of work for the insane pay, and that it is absolutely not a year's worth of time commitment and labor.

Which is why everybody wants to be a bowl CEO.

I mean, honestly, would you turn down the job if offered?

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

There are very few jobs that pay a 7-figure base salary annually that I would turn down.

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Would I take it, absolutely.

That isn't really a relevant question though. I'd never be offered this job, because I'm not in the circles where these jobs are offered, and I wouldn't do the things necessary to enter those circles.

Yeah, it irked me, I did not attend V tech, I chose it for fandom during the Beamer era.
Lunchbox and loyalty thing.
I always considered the scholarships as a payment thing but well deserved.

Those non-scholly guys aren't going to see a dime NIL. It's the stars that'll gather all the rewards, even if they are the prospective stars apparently.

The few high dollar players are more like the proverbial straw.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

cause it stopped being about the sport for me

This is just wild to me. The alternative isn't it "being all about the sport", it's billionaires being empowered to abuse their employees. Baseball players have rights such as guaranteed contracts and lifetime health insurance specifically because they organized and used their powers to assert their value. I'd say college sports have traditionally been much worse in the "all bout the sport" aspect, in that it's all about how people in power and hangers-ons can extract as much money as possible from amateurs. Things like tv deals, re-allignment, playoff structure, bowl commissioners making millions, all of these decisions and results are based on how the power structure can make as much money as possible without having to increase return to players

I agree with you, but if I understand Egbert's post correctly, he's suggesting that he is only interested in the on the field sport. When contract negotiations, free agency, and whatnot get covered by the media, it's hard to follow the sport and avoid those things (the commentators mention it, the talking heads mention it; it's just tough to find coverage that is ONLY about what's happening on the field, in this moment).

I enjoy the off-the-field coverage, and (ESPECIALLY with college football) I love hearing about the inside baseball, the narrative, the pageantry, the debate, the changes, etc. But if you don't like this stuff (or actively dislike it) I get why you'd find the sport tough to watch.

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Bar1990 pretty much has it.

I'm old enough to be old school sports. We had our heroes, Boog Powel, Bubba Smith, etc. This is an era when the everyday sports heroes made a little more than a well skilled blue collar craftsman.

I was a Colts Fan. Baltimore Colts. Then they snuck the team out of town, lying to us all the way. Strike 1 against Pro Sports. The only time I attended another NFL football game was when I was the halftime entertainment at Jack Murphy Stadium.

I graduated HS same day as Billy Ripkin and only a few miles away. I knew he was drafted by the Orioles before it was on the news.
My type of player is Iron Man Cal Ripkin.
Orioles were one of the 2 teams that didn't strike. I think the Reds was the other. 2nd Baseball strike was strike 3. Not too long later I left the U.S. for a few years and spent much of the next few years without a TV.

All of this CFB stuff has been building the past decade and disrupts the sport for me. Even the discussion of why I don't like what's happening is openly political, which is why I don't directly respond.

My CFB enjoyment does not include the political, it includes what happens on the field and some stories such as Rogers' engagement story.

For my enjoyment and stress relief, I wanna argue what's needed to improve the Offensive Line and cheer the gaining of what appears to be a top notch Running Back, not the morality of enticing a HS QB to a different team with vaporware promises of $13,000,000.

That shark has been jumped.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Yeah I definitely get that. Conversely, this is why i've become a bigger fan of the NFL over the years. Almost all of the coverage I read and listen to is centered around what's happening on the field, schemes + players + coaches while for quite a long while now college football talk has been rooted in the political machinations of donors and institutional buy-in, the on-field product is secondary at best. That didn't start with NIL and I actually don't think it's changed all that much, we've just stopped pretending that great "recruiters" were anything more than a product of the money behind them. But I'm not here to change your opinion by any means, just thinking out loud more than anything

...when I was the halftime entertainment at Jack Murphy Stadium.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

Navy Marching Band Cymbal player while in boot camp in San Diego. That's why Jack Murphy.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I was a Colts Fan. Baltimore Colts. Then they snuck the team out of town, lying to us all the way. Strike 1 against Pro Sports. The only time I attended another NFL football game was...

In my head I already finished this sentence for you to have lost the colts to only cheer for the browns who then also left you....it made me laugh at least.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Grab onto your wayback machine and remember that Elway was Colts #1 draft pick and refused to play for a team so far from the West Coast. He was traded to the Brancos 1983. So, we lost our #1 draft pick wasted and turned out to be somewhat a big deal.

Irsay snuck the team out of town March 1984.

The second baseball strike was in 1981.
So, all these events were occurring at the same relative time.

Worked halftime show in Fall 1984 or Jan 1985.
I left the access to TV and then left the country in Fall 1984. I didn't get access to U.S. television until late 1987. Then a year later I lost it again until 1991.

U.S. TV sports watched was mostly social event stuff rainy Saturday afternoons in a particular bar 1987-88.

My access to sports was live amateur sports and especially Rugby during that whole period. It was very fun being an American that played rugby in Japan and the Pacific rim and middle east at that time.

So, it's kind of a meeting of the various storms that conspired to set my connection to pro sports in a tenuous relationship. To a point that in the 2000's I had to make a conscious decision to be a sports fan.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I was so out of pro sports that I was barely aware of any of the Browns thing despite my brothers and family living outside Baltimore and my brother being in the Colts Marching Band, which remained in Baltimore.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

billionaires being empowered to abuse their employees.

Look, I'm not arguing that this is bad, but the NIL landscape is just shifting the goalposts for the billionaires effectively buying athletic departments and buying their way to success. If your school isn't backed by one, you're not going to compete. And it is already far worse than any professional league here in the US because there is no cap to their spending. The rich get all the spoils, the poor get left behind.

Virginia Tech is among the poor. We are left behind and I don't care to watch a product where there is no viable path to contention short of being bought by a trust fund baby with more money than brains. That's not enjoyable to me. That's every bit of our current American culture that I absolutely loathe taking over a sport I used to love. And I'm finding it harder and harder to enjoy anything about collegiate athletics the more this keeps going down this path.

This is my school
This is home

I'm talking about the baseball strikes specifically there. College sports aren't analogous 1:1 because of the guise of amateurism, lack of a player's union, and a million other nuanced reasons. But professional players having a means to bargain for their rights and determine their own value is why it is sometimes, in this one specific way, easier to be a fan of professional sports than college sports, where we know that players are being taken advantage of (even if we sometimes convince ourselves it's for the best).

Professional sports have checks and balances in place to maintain a level of competition across the board. Some leagues are much better at this (NFL, NHL) than others (NBA, MLB) but there are always guardrails in place to keep things from spinning entirely out of control. Every fan can see a path for their team to win a title that isn't praying for someone to buy the team and just spend more.

Unfortunately, that's where we are with college athletics, and with the NCAA refusing to act, it's spinning wildly out of control. If you arent a fan of a SEC or Big Ten school right now, your contention window is either already closed or rapidly being slammed shut. Short of getting a billionaire to fund your shit (new TV deal or sweetheart donor) you're done as a contender. And it's only a matter of time before that is legitimately felt across the board.

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