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Jumbo Package: NIL rights are going to be an unenforceable mess

To the surprise of absolutely no one.

McDonalds Corp. Restaurant Under Russia’s New In-Dining Restriction

This is going to shock absolutely no one, but NIL stopgaps are already resulting in paydays for football players, as was the intent.

As I speculated, it has been some of the larger regional franchises doling them out first — Milo’s for Bo Nix; Runza for Nebraska players; a radio station already in the process of selecting five players to receive $25,000 a piece. Auburn media has set up an NIL tracker, the NCAA is begging for a Congressional fix. Instagram e-Girl and occasional LSU Gymnast, Olivia Dunne, could be a millionaire by Christmas, plying her SFW version of OnlyFans to cosmetics companies and the like.

That’s just a few.

So, who’s going to monitor this, really becomes the question?

We’ve had NIL for 11 hours and it’s already hard to keep track of. The NCAA has an enforcement staff of just 15 full-time investigators. And those folks are going to be tasked with assessing deals for thousands of players. It’s not just football players or men’s basketball players; it’s also the gymnasts like Dunne, and many more. Don’t you think Ionescu would have liked to profit from her career at Oregon? What about Dawn Staley in her playing days? Mia Hamm when she wore Carolina blue?

And how do we draw the line as to when these endorsements become performative — i.e., pay for play? It’s a question that I raised with Josh yesterday when he suggested that social media would be one of their biggest payors (I happen disagree, but that’s beyond the scope of this piece). No sooner does that question arise, then the radio appearance news comes down the pipe less than 24 hours later.

For those that hate administrators, you’ve just ensured that the NCAA is about to play an even larger role, with even more people, and subject to even more discretionary calls. It is simply untenable to suggest that less than two dozen persons can monitor pay-for-play, academic eligibility, while suddenly becoming contract law and personalty rights experts and not make mistakes...and probably quite a few. And, lord, the corruption that this invites beggars belief.

In many respects, the NCAA has itself to blame. It could have eased into this and staffed appropriately over the last several years. Instead, it planned to win every lawsuit it ever faced, kick the can down the road, and now finds itself begging for help from a largely unsympathetic Congress and judiciary.

As for everyone else? This is the world you wanted. Enjoy a 1980s SMU in every backyard in the country.

Want to know the next evolution of the data-driven game, where the more you get, the better? And as a side benefit, it may finally help defenses catch up with offenses — RFID heat maps for downs / distance and tendency. How about seeing whether a player truly earned a first day instead of eyeballing it with a chain?

That and more are coming; the game never sits still

Speaking of NIL, I had a bet with a friend/reader that the first player to sign a deal for ‘Bama would be Bryce Young. Makes the most sense, right? Maybe John Metchie?

None of the above. Alabama’s Traeshon Holden was the first ‘Bammer on the board just after midnight.

Alabama wide receiver Traeshon Holden became the first Tide football player to announce a marketing deal early Thursday morning, shortly after state and NCAA rules were loosened to allow college athletes to be paid for endorsements.

Holden, a sophomore, posted a message to Instagram shortly after midnight saying he was partnering with Yoke gaming, an app that allows people to play video games with athletes. Former Notre Dame tight end Nic Weishar co-founded the company.

Najee is such a damned righteous dude.

Former Alabama Crimson Tide and current Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris has joined California governor Gavin Newsome at LifeMoves in Mountain View, California, to talk about the fight against homelessness.

Harris’s non-profit organization “Da’ Bigger Picture Foundation” has teamed up with the state government with the Homekey program, which provides living arrangements for people experiencing homelessness.

“If I’m impacting the youth and impacting the people who’ve been through my situation, they try to better themselves,” said Harris. “That’s really all that matters.”

Harris experienced multiple evictions as a child and moved to various homeless shelters in the Bay Area.

There is one thing the SEC is not hurting for this year — and especially at Alabama — All-American worthy tackles. The Tide will have two of them, but they are hardly alone. The conference is stacked with outstanding offensive linemen this year.

Good news, Gumps! There are some select tickets going on sale today — Arkansas, Non-Con mainly, but IIRC there are still ways to purchase season ticket packages and that Ole Miss game, which I suspect will be a highly coveted one by game day.

This has been speculated for a few days now, but it does appear that Jaden Shackelford will be entering the portal. One suspects the entering class that Nate Oats signed had something to do with it: The Tide won’t be short of wing players. But it does suck, as his offense will be missed (if not always the iffy defensive effort).

Come on, now, I’d say that 7th is awfully generous to rank Kirby Smart among a list of CFB’s best coaches. Doing exactly as well as your predecessor, destroying the roster, chasing off quarterbacks, choking in title appearances, game mismanagement, bad losses to overwhelmed underdogs, accusations of some unsavory interpersonal traits, and recruiting about as well as the guy before you hardly qualifies you to be among the best.

Just based on the talent on-hand and results garnered, I’d put 2020 Kirby behind the job that Sam Pittman or Lane Kiffin did last year, or the results that Mark Stoops regularly churns out.

Just in the Eastern time zone, I’d say that Dabo Swinney, Jamey Chadwell, Ryan Day, and Hugh Freeze and Ken Niumatalolo are better.

There are still three more Time Zones, I can keep going if you want?


Personal feelings aside, is Kirby Smart the 7th best coach in all of college football?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Not a chance
    (169 votes)
  • 19%
    He could be, but he’s not there yet.
    (127 votes)
  • 40%
    He’s an A-lister, somewhere in the Top 20 or so, but not 7th.
    (267 votes)
  • 11%
    He looks like Miss Gentry, that angry gym teacher from 1987. He’s a piss poor coach and an even worse person.
    (80 votes)
  • 0%
    Other praise or invective (below)
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    (20 votes)
667 votes total Vote Now