Three-Point Stance: NIL, the problem with offers, Iowa
National recruiting analyst Clint Cosgrove takes a look at the latest NIL controversy, how everything around offers could be cleaned up and Iowa's big recruiting weekend in today's Three-Point Stance.
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1. NIL CRAZINESS
There is an extreme lack of transparency when it comes to Name, Image and Likeness deals, especially in terms of the contracts and compensation involved. This lack of openness leads to rampant speculation that can neither be easily proven or disproven. New Miami commitment Jaden Rashada reportedly received an NIL deal worth $9.5 million for agreeing to pledge to the Hurricanes, but has since been vehemently disputed by Miami booster John Ruiz.
I think the NCAA should create a separate handbook regulating the NIL process because the current guidelines are extremely vague and filled with loopholes. Transparency is key and there needs to be a way to track all NIL transactions. A rule forcing all NIL transactions to take place on an anonymous public ledger, similar to how blockchain technology is used to track online transactions, would provide the transparency needed and ensure players' privacy at the same time. The public ledger would then be monitored for any unusual or potential illegal activity across the deals themselves creating a safe but accountable space
I am also concerned about the pressure that big NIL deals will put on players and coaches alike. The million-dollar deals are an exception to the overall NIL space, but there are enough of these cases to create major issues for college football as a whole. What happens when a player at a position like quarterback is not starting immediately and the people behind the player's NIL funds don't like seeing their investment sitting on the bench? There will be pressure on the coaches to throw the big NIL player into the fire before they are ready which will have major consequences for college football as a whole. It is not a matter of if this will happen, but only a matter of when.
When a player is forced on the field before they are ready due to an NIL contract, not only will it stunt that player's growth, but it will also ruin team chemistry, derail seasons and get coaches fired. This could kill college football as we know it and needs to be addressed before it becomes a major issue.
2. OFFER PROCESS NEEDS TO BE CLEANED UP
The way that offers are communicated to prospects is something that really bothers me about the recruiting process. I don't have a solution for this as it would be nearly impossible to monitor, but I bring it up because the consequences of this can be far reaching. Over the years I have seen one problematic issue surface time after time, and that is prospects believing they are able to commit somewhere when they do not have a committable offer. In many cases this can lead to a prospect having zero scholarship opportunities and, in worst cases, stop them from attending college at all.
For instance, if Prospect A is offered by a Power Five program, Prospect A has an understanding that they are a major college recruit and they in turn put all of their eggs in that basket. Prospect A may have some smaller offers come around which they pay little attention to because they have their big offer in their back pocket. This can also deter smaller programs from offering because they see the big offer and decide that they do not have a chance at landing Prospect A. As signing day approaches Prospect A has decided to commit to that Power Five program only to find out that they do not have a scholarship from that team. When they backtrack looking for a spot to land, they find out that all of their other opportunities are no longer available and they end up with nothing at all.
This could all be avoided through simple and transparent communication by college coaches, but that doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon. My suggestion is that the NCAA take the initiative to educate all prospective recruits and families on the recruiting process, and they should make it a mandatory component for being granted eligibility by the clearinghouse.
3. WILL IOWA'S HUGE WEEKEND PAY DIVIDENDS?
Iowa is coming off of an official visit weekend in which the Hawkeyes hosted 23 prospects on campus at the same time. The visitors were a mix of nine commitments along with 14 uncommitted standouts. This strategy of bringing in committed players with top uncommitted targets is a big trend in recruiting and in many cases surrounding committed players with uncommitted players on a visit can lead to a family environment that produces a number of commitments.
The Hawkeyes have already seen one big commitment out of the weekend in highly recruited four-star offensive lineman Trevor Lauck. While Lauck's commitment will be considered a big win no matter the outcome of the weekend as a whole, fans and coaches often tend to panic when there isn't a string of commitments over the visit weekend or directly after. In my opinion this visit weekend has a chance to be a program changer if everything goes to plan, and it is definitely not time for Iowa fans to panic.
The biggest target on campus over the weekend was five-star in-state recruit Kadyn Proctor. My gut tells me that after being around the program in this capacity along with seeing his good friend and former teammate, five-star safety Xavier Nwankpa, that Proctor will end up a Hawkeye when he announces his decision. I also see offensive lineman Chris Terek, linebacker Kenneth Merriweather and receiver Jaron Tibbs as potential commits that could come out of the weekend. With a good impression the Hawkeyes could be in serious consideration by some additional big targets such as Asa Newsom, Kendrick Gilbert, Kahlil Tate and others as well.
Only time will tell how this visit weekend turns out, but I would not be shocked to see a run of commitments that will have Hawkeye fans grinning from ear to ear in the near future.