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Fact or Fiction: The NCAA will let programs dictate NIL terms

In today’s Fact or Fiction, Rivals National Columnist Mike Farrell looks at three big recent topics in college football and decides whether the statements are FACT or FICTION.


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1. The NCAA will let schools dictate Name, Image and Likeness guidelines. 

Mark Emmert
Mark Emmert (USA Today Sports Images)

FARRELL'S TAKE: FACT. The NCAA simply can’t figure this out and three Power Five commissioners are reportedly pushing for much broader NIL rules than originally proposed to the NCAA Division I Council. That means what? It means that Greg Sankey (SEC), Jim Phillips (ACC) and Larry Scott (Pac-12) want programs to monitor NIL with two simple restrictions in place — no boosters or staff can pay athletes and no payment can be made for athletic performance or recruitment.

And with zero plan in place after hoping Congress would intervene, the NCAA Division I Council will likely agree to this wide open approach. Why? Fear of lawsuits from athletes who will claim they are being restricted by the NCAA of their earning potential. Congress didn’t come in and save this and now the NCAA will let Ohio State dictate different NIL rules than Michigan and so on. Watch it happen.


2. The above lax approach to NIL will be a disaster.

Greg Sankey
Greg Sankey (USA Today Sports Images)

FARRELL'S TAKE: FACT. Talk about a new recruiting war, huh? While guidelines are in place effective July 1 in some states the NCAA allowing schools to dictate this on a school-to-school basis will lead to a different level of an arms race. Remember when it was facilities that schools were competing with and the arms race that occurred there? Now get ready for another one.

Sure, programs can’t have kids paid by boosters or pay them to attend their school but doesn’t the NCAA know yet how creative people in college football are? Enticements that still follow these lazy guidelines will come out of the woodwork and essentially programs will be recruiting players with the promise of money.


3. There should be no restrictions on college athletes making money. 

FARRELL'S TAKE: FICTION. This is where people will disagree with me but I believe guardrails are needed here, at least at first. I am all for players making money working camps or signing autographs or being on a billboard, but a limit to how they can make is probably a smart thing. Why? These are still kids, and money changes many things. The hunger they have to make the NFL and provide for their family could be curtailed by what is honestly a pittance of money comparatively.

I’d hate to see a player lose his drive or passion because he made $100,000 on something. That’s massive money to a college student but could cost them a lot more in the end if they think they’ve made it. Does that make sense?