Nick Saban advocates for federal NIL rules


Alabama coach Nick Saban supports college athletes’ ability to make money through their name and image. But he’s also a supporter of federal rules to govern how athletes can earn that money.

Saban said on Sunday morning that he believed college football would have a competitive imbalance without some sort of national guidelines for college athlete approvals and sponsorships. After years of procrastination, the NCAA stopped enforcing its archaic rules preventing athletes from making money by endorsement before the 2021-22 seasons.

“I think what’s a little worrying is how it allows players to decide where they go at school, because I don’t think that’s the intention,” Saban said. “I don’t think that would be the intention of the NCAA. I think we probably need some kind of national legislation to control that to some extent, because I think there will be an imbalance over who can dominate college football if it isn’t regulated in one way or another.

“And the more we get from players who are making money and the players actually have the opportunity to make money, which I am not opposed to, maybe there are circumstances where it has to be. to have some kind of agreement between the school and the player as to what their commitment is to what they choose to do because it is something, making commitments and fulfilling them is probably important to have a chance to succeed. ”

Since the change in NCAA rules is so new, the 2022 Football Recruiting Class is the first group of high school players to choose their schools while factoring in the potential income from approval in their decisions. While this endorsement income isn’t meant to be specifically tied to a rookie’s commitment to a school, it’s impossible for a rookie to disregard their potential earning opportunities before signing. The new name, image and likeness rules are seen as a big factor in Rookie No.1 Travis Hunter’s decision to sign with Deion Sanders and FCS Jackson State School.

Hunter’s decision to go to an FCS school certainly changes the landscape of college football’s second tier. Jackson State – which also secured the entry of Rivals top 100 Kevin Coleman on Saturday – is expected to have one of the most talented teams in modern FCS history in 2022.

But it’s also worth noting how unbalanced the college football landscape has been without athletes being able to capitalize on their sponsorship income. The Saban, Alabama team play their sixth national title game in eight playoff seasons against Georgia on Monday night. And the four playoff spots have been dominated by Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State in those eight seasons. This season’s playoffs featuring the Tide, Georgia, Michigan and Cincinnati are the first of those eight to miss at least two of the Tide, Tigers and Buckeyes.

Schools want federal guidelines

The NCAA and its member schools and conferences have been advocating for a federal NIL framework for some time. The NCAA’s decision to stop enforcing its sponsorship ban came after many states passed laws legalizing sponsorship income for college athletes. Rather than fight against these state laws, the NCAA began to push for a set of federal rules to replace individual state laws.

There has been little movement, however, on the federal front as Congress has other priorities. It does not seem likely that anything will happen in the near future relating to the subject.

This means that not much is likely to change for college athletes. What’s new is probably going to be normal for at least another school year. And Bryce Young of Alabama has been a big beneficiary of the new NCAA standard.

Saban said earlier this year that Young had made name, image and likeness deals totaling nearly $ 1 million before Young even started for the Tide this season due to his quarterback status. alleged departure from Alabama. The deals have paid off for companies that have made speculative investments as Young won the Heisman Trophy and Alabama play for a second straight national title on Monday night.


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