The name, image, and likeness (NIL) era of college sports has completely changed the landscape of athletics at the amateur level.
With student-athletes now able to make a profit legally, top recruits are at least partly deciding where to attend college based on the amount of NIL money a university can provide.
For former Cornell Director of Athletics and Physical Education Andy Noel, the introduction of NIL has been terrible for college sports.
“I’m forced just to say it first. Nationwide, I think the NIL situation has been an absolute disaster. Programs can now within the rules buy a team. I hope the pendulum swings back – I think it will – but it’s an absolute disaster,” Noel said on ESPN’s “Between the Lines” last week prior to his retirement.
“And I can reel off many cases where athletics have been purchased under the guise of NIL and what they bring with their name, image, and likeness. Which in most cases is zero, but they still get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Noel, who was the longest-tenured Ivy League athletics director, announced his plan to retire in March 2022 and his official last day was Jan. 15.
Paired with the relatively new transfer portal, NIL has created a situation where players can test their value on the open market.
No sport has experienced more movement than college football, with over 2,300 players entering their names into the transfer portal following the 2022 season, according to On3 Sports.
Washington State head coach Jake Dickert said in December that the combination of the transfer portal and NIL has created an uptick in tampering.
“There’s more tampering going on than you could ever imagine,” Dickert said. “We’ve had guys contact our players’ parents. We had a coach from another school contact one of our players and offer him NIL. A coach.
“So, there’s more things going on behind the scenes that you can’t even imagine. You can’t even imagine the things that are happening to try and pry our players away from this place.”
On Tuesday, Florida quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada requested a release from his National Letter of Intent (LOI) due to a NIL deal falling through, according to multiple reports.
Rashada’s commitment to the Gators was contingent on a four-year, $13 million NIL deal he signed with the Gator Collective, according to The Associated Press.
The deal with the Gator Collective fell through, reportedly causing Rashada to request the release of his commitment to Florida.