Ds Scholarship

Jackson State, Barstool, And College Football’s Thin, Gray Line

On National Signature Day Wednesday, one of the country’s best recruits, Travis Hunter, stunned the college football world by withdrawing his commitment from Florida State and instead Signing with Jackson State, a HBCU in Mississippi trained by former Seminole star Dion Sanders. As noted by ESPN, Hunter became the first five-star person to sign with the FCS (Football Championship Division) team since the sports network began arranging recruits in 2006.

The Jackson State program is a small beer even by FCS standards. as ringer He noted that in 2019, Jackson State generated $6 million from athletics, well below the FCS average of $16 million — and a fraction of the $45.5 annual payments that SEC schools receive.

in a tweetHunter explained that his decision to part with Tallahassee for Jackson was “a dream that is hard to give up,” adding: “Jerry Rice, Doug Williams, and of course the legend, Walter Payton of JSU – historically black colleges and universities have a rich history in football.” I want to be a part of that history, and more than that, I want to be a part of that future. I’m making this decision so I can light the way for others to follow, and make it a little easier for the next player to realize that HBCU might be all they want and more. An exciting college experience, a vibrant community, and a life-changing place to play football.”

He went on to say he’s looking forward to working with icon Dean Sanders — and why wouldn’t he? “Coach Prime,” as Hunter referred to it, is just one of the best corners I’ve ever played the game, and Hunter is one of the corners. But for some observers, this explanation wasn’t good enough, like A baseless rumour That Hunter had secured the promise of a lucrative name, image, and example (NIL) deal with Barstool Sports – where he hosts a Sanders podcast – began spreading on social media.

If this rumor is true, it would be a clear violation of the flimsy NCAA regulations governing the NILA arrangements.

“Obviously the way it looks is if you take a kid from Florida to Jackson State with a zero-deal, it looks like incentive,” said Vic Denardi, a former NCAA enforcement officer who is now head of the division. NIL Education for Draft. Lee, he said sport handle. “[But] Unless it’s, “You go to Jackson State, you get this deal,” it’s not a clear incentive to recruit.”

It wasn’t long after the Bristol rumor started on the tour that a Jackson State official said Clarion Ledger It was “unequivocally incorrect.” For his part, Barstool President Dave Portnoy issued a mysterious tweet And refused to comment When asked about the alleged arrangement before New York Post.

Either way, the whole situation serves as a high-profile reminder of how intense a “zero arms race,” as Drake Group President Donna Lopiano recently put it, can change college sports — with virtually no oversight.

“The NCAA is evading its role as a national governing organization” with its stance, or lack thereof, on NIL deals, Lopiano said. sport handle Thursday. “They do not apply the external hiring standard to NIL. The NCAA is out of national governance because it is armed from antitrust.”

punish Congress

Matt Brown, who edits the newsletter extra pointsNCAA, which covers off-field forces in college athletics, said the NCAA would be “totally restricted” if they tried to set zero rules “because of their inability to do something.” [about it] 20 years ago.”

“The reason for seeing you [NCAA President Mark] Brown added, noting that state governments that have adopted asymmetric legislation have not provided enough clarity on how to enforce their rules. But this raises other big questions. Want to trust the college sports rules of Ted Cruz or Elizabeth Warren? I watched a lot of these hearings and was not impressed by either party’s perception of how this market works.”

There are no limits on how much money athletes can be paid in NIL deals because, as Brown said, “It’s almost impossible for the NCAA to set limits. They’d be omitted in antitrust law. We don’t have a maximum payroll for coaches, and the federal court system is increasingly hostile for the argument.” amateur presented by the NCAA.

To that end, Alabama’s Nick Saban raised eyebrows over the summer when he revealed that first quarterback, eventual Heisman winner Bryce Young, had earned nearly $1 million in NIL deals before making his Crimson Tide debut .

“It’s possible that some positions boost opportunities to create value, like our quarterback, and our quarterback has already come close to the invalid numbers,” Saban said, leaving his SEC rival, Ole Miss’s Lynn Kevin, stunned. “It’s roughly seven numbers. And he’s, like, the guy hasn’t played yet. But that’s because of our brand.”

Free agency in college football

Another big signing on Wednesday included Texas State’s successful courtship of popular quarterback Quinn Ewers, who skipped his final year of high school to enroll in Ohio State. But after spending the season on the bench behind Buckeyes’ outstanding midfielder CJ Stroud, Ewers entered the transfer window and ended up signing with Longhorns.

Ewers’ decision came a week after Orangebloods.com’s Geoff Ketchum tweeted, “The word on the street is first-round draft money is nothing on the table for Quinn Ewers if he chooses Texas as his transfer destination. Armament on the Nile front is fully underway.”

as propelled He wrote in response to Ketchum’s tweet, “Could it mean that Texas is offering Ewers close to $15 million? Probably (hopefully) not. Does this mean Ewers is offering them over $1 million in NIL? Surely it seems likely “.

“I don’t think people really say it that way, but let’s make no mistake: We have free agency in college football,” Kevin said during a press conference earlier this week. “And the kids go where they will pay more. Nobody else says that, maybe, but if the kid says, ‘That’s what I’m getting here for for nothing,’ that’s what it is. A free agency is set up in college football…except That you can’t bind people with a contract. They can go at any time. It’s a new world we’re in. Sometimes they want to come to you and say, “I’m going to get that much money if you go there. It’s just a whole new thing to deal with.”

Under most NIL laws—and 21 states had established them as of October 1—schools are not allowed to directly facilitate NIL deals for student-athletes. Instead, they are counting on wealthy alumni to create NIL-reinforced organizations to do the giving. If you are fond of gray, this is an area that you will greatly appreciate.

PonyUp and the Pies Factory

On Monday, Southern Methodist University, home of the infamous “Pony Express” program in the 1980s, announced the formation of an NIL program called PonyUp that is only available to soccer players. Led by notable alumni like Eric Dickerson, PonyUp will benefit from an annual commitment of more than $1 million that, according to a press release, “aims to immediately make SMU the national leader in NILs and is expected to expand rapidly.”

One of the components of PonyUp is the professional development program called “NIL Learnships”. According to the release, this will entail “an innovative development in paid coaching, in which players connect with successful entrepreneurs and develop mutual 1-to-1 mentorship, in which both parties exchange different ideas and perspectives, and the athlete receives enhanced mentoring in areas such as financial management and other business skills. Sharing the NIL experience via social posts, appearances, and other experiences.”

Brown said of the SMU program, “I think it’s a good thing. If you’re a soccer player at SMU, when do you have time to get a competitive internship or study abroad? You have 20 hours of training or film or meetings, so your academic opportunities are limited.” I think you can look at something like this as literally providing the athletes the opportunities they were promised. It’s a little different now than it was when they were dropping bags [of money]. “

“We moved from under the table to above the table,” Lupiano added. “Testing on the table is a trade-off — is there a legitimate service attached? And one of the dilemmas with that is that the NCAA is just out of the realm of regulation.”

If SMU’s Mustangs are to become a “national leader in the NILs,” they will have to catch a flock of wealthy Longhorns. For intelligence, Texas recently created its own version of PonyUp called Clark Collective, which, according to a press release, “earned an initial $10 million pledge for University of Texas Name, Image, and Similarity (NIL) activities with the ultimate goal of having the nation’s largest dedicated fund for college athletes. “.

And that’s just one of the Texas Soccer Team’s NIL programs. Another foundation, Horns With Heart, is a nonprofit that has pledged to provide every Longhorn offensive lineman with a scholarship worth $50,000 annually in NIL funds to promote and participate in charitable causes.

Horns With Heart’s O-Line initiative has been called The Pancake Factory, “due in large part to the blocks placed by attacking pursuit men when attempting to open their running lanes.” Sports Illustrated, who added, “The Pancake Factory is scheduled to start August 1, 2022, with a total of $800,000 annually earmarked for offensive line care. This, along with Clark Field Collective, another company that sponsors Texan players, means every Texan OL will earn At least $150,000 a season.”

“Every Texas scholarship offensive line worker will get $50,000 a year with a new NIL deal,” former Auburn coach Gene Chesick Tweet on Monday. Not to mention the $200,000 education. Americans are struggling to find jobs worth $50,000 to feed their children. Next is $100,000 per player with no end in sight. Faulty system!!!! Most $$ wins! “

“Here you see everyone is playing with the system, even for good reasons,” Lupiano noted. “What is important is that no one does this to non-athletes. They do it because they are athletes. If there is a club that is reinforced with one purpose only, which is to win recruiting wars for one organization and only to do not have one group of kids, then what is that? Recruitment incentive.”

Concern about competitive balance

But Dinardi, who was previously tasked with enforcing such matters on the NCAA (albeit during the pre-NIL era), isn’t quite sure.

“The pay for playing is so tight because the deal can’t be, ‘You’re going to get $50,000 to be on the Texas football team,’” he said. “If you provide value for your services, like promoting a charity, that’s the problem. It’s a fine line. If you’re not one of the Texas offensive line guys, you’re not going to get this deal. But the fact that you have to do something in return sets it apart.”

One of the more consistent criticisms of the NIL bonus is that it will widen the competitive chasm between generously funded programs like Texas and those, like Jackson State, that operate on a relatively small scale. But Jackson State just landed the No. 2 inductee in the country, and Texas hasn’t fielded an elite team since Vince Young was behind the center.

“I know that for fans or potential bettors, there is a concern that this will lead to problems with the competitive balance,” Brown said. But look at Texas over the past decade. Was talent acquisition the problem? Was the problem with USC? Even if this world provides an advantage to the big brands, you still have to train them.”

Brown concluded by saying that if “coaches” continue to walk on the sidelines, “everything [these NIL programs] What you will do is waste the money of the rich.”

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