SEC Coaches and Players Embracing New Name Image Likeness Policy
College sports are evolving quickly with the approval of the name, image and likeness legislation earlier this month. Athletes, especially SEC football stars, are already cashing in. News 12’s Angela Moryan breaks down what the coaches and players think about the change, from the SEC Media Days.
Reporter: “Nick Saban said that his quarterback has earned almost a million dollars so far in NIL deals.”
Said Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin: “Jeez! … That number just blew me away, so you didn’t prepare me for that. That’s amazing. He made a million dollars and hasn’t even started a game yet? Wow.”
The deals are pouring in just three weeks after a new law passed, allowing college athletes to profit from their own brand.
Said LSU head coach Ed Orgeron: “I’m for it. Whatever we can give to our players legally, I think they deserve it.”
Said Auburn quarterback Bo Nix: “Obviously, we’re all excited about the opportunity that NIL can bring, and we’re thankful that they passed that law because it’s beneficial to us to make things off our name, image and likeness.”
Said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart: “You think back to the likes of a Hines Ward and a Champ Bailey at the University of Georgia, and a AJ Green and Todd Gurley, what they would’ve been able to do with NIL. These young men and women have earned this opportunity. We are so excited for them.”
Said Florida head coach Dan Mullen: “I’m excited about the opportunities it presents our players. I think it’s great for the players, but I think there is a big learning curve.”
Part of that learning curve is finding a balance.
Said Smart: “I got a text from an avid Georgia fan. The first text I got was two weeks after NIL had started, and said, ‘Coach, please tell the players, be selective who they put their brand with. Don’t just do anything.’ He used the term ‘thirsty.’ ‘Don’t be thirsty.'”
Said Bama head coach Nick Saban: “All we’ve done is create an opportunity for players to work. The only question is because it’s not going to be equal and everything we’ve done in college athletics in the past has always been equal. Everybody’s had equal scholarship, equal opportunity. Now that’s probably not going to be the case. Some positions, some players will have more opportunities than others.”
That doesn’t seem to be bothering the players.
Said Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis: “My main focus is playing, because you can’t get an NIL deal if you’re not good at football so.”
Said Bama defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis: “This is something we all think we deserve as players. I don’t think it’s jealousy. I think it’s more everybody happy for everybody. We want to see everybody win.”