As expected, there has been a lot of pushback from the establishment of College Athletics about NIL and the lack of governing body surrounding it. NIL has been around for around six months, and to this date, on May 4th, we still have no idea who is in charge or even what the rules are.
Yet, College Athletes are cashing in on their worth for the first time since the beginning of College Athletics. Some are making seven figures to play College Sports, some are making six, and some are making just enough.
Despite all the good things that NIL has provided for Student Athletes, there’s still a large group of people who are in the inner circles of College Athletics that want some type of reform on the rules from the NCAA.
However, what those folks don’t realize is the simple fact that the NCAA has never had the Athletes’ best interest in mind, and we live in America where a free capitalist economy allows for independent people to make money off what they bring to the table.
It’s not perfect, and nobody has said it is, but for the first time, student-athletes have the opportunity to bring home money to their families. Plus, what’s the issue? Every other student on campus can have a full-time job to pay bills, take care of their families, take their significate others on dates, and afford to be a college student.
Yet, the very thought of a Collegiate Athlete making money has the universe turned upside down.
It doesn’t make sense. Here you have the opportunity to teach a younger generation about money, taxes, and the value of their work, yet, the adults in the business can’t get it together, further creating an unfixable rift in College Athletics.
The truth of the matter is, the problem isn’t NIL or even the Transfer Portal; the problem resides in the lack of communication from generation to generation in sports. The older folks in sports have no desire to talk and listen to the younger generation. We can’t sit across the table and talk about issues with mental health in College Athletics; what makes you think we can agree and find common ground regarding money in the NIL.
Until the older generation in sports agrees to talk to and mentor the younger generation, the issues around the NIL will continue, and nobody will be happy.
It’s that simple.
We face a breaking point in College Athletics. With two pathways to go down.
First, we continue in the direction we’re on with zero communication between the two parties involved. That direction will lead to the eventual downfall of College Athletics.
Second, we start the hard conversations between the two parties, and we find a way for the older generation to communicate and mentor the younger generation. We salvage a beautiful relationship that could be beneficial for generations to come.
There’s no easy solution to this issue, but NIL isn’t going anywhere. It is what it is. There’s no changing it.
We have got to come together as one team to further the growth of College Athletics.