Happy Tuesday, everyone. The NCAA dropped some official guidance for school compliance departments on the distinction between NIL and pay for play inducements.
“Today, the Division I Board of Directors took a significant first step to address some of the challenges and improper behaviors that exist in the name, image and likeness environment that may violate our long-established recruiting rules. While the NCAA may pursue the most outrageous violations that were clearly contrary to the interim policy adopted last summer, our focus is on the future. The new guidance establishes a common set of expectations for the Division I institutions moving forward, and the board expects all Division I institutions to follow our recruiting rules and operate within these reasonable expectations,” said board chair Jere Morehead, president, University of Georgia.
The board noted that the emphasis of this NIL guidance is on boosters in the recruiting process and is not intended to question the eligibility of prospective and enrolled student-athletes involved in NIL deals. Only the most serious actions that clearly violate the previously published interim policy would have eligibility implications.
This sounds great and all, but as Ross Dellenger notes, the NCAA has been weak on enforcement of late.
NCAA enforcement has been unwilling and maybe even unable to enforce existing bylaws, George and Smith say. For one, the organization is concerned any enforcement will trigger a bevy of antitrust legal challenges. Second, the NCAA enforcement staff is ill-equipped for a full-scale nationwide inquiry. It is down 15–20 members from pandemic layoffs. Smith says the association plans to replace people eventually.
The NCAA enforcement’s staffing situation “is the biggest issue” when it comes to why the organization has deeply not pursued violators, George says. But industry experts contend that any enforcement will invariably generate lawsuits from wealthy donors.
One agent confirms that last point per Stewart Mandel and Nicole Auerbach at The Athletic.
“The moment they come to try to interfere with one of my clients’ deals — the next day is the moment they get hit with an antitrust lawsuit,” said attorney Mike Caspino, who represents several football recruits that have landed six- and seven-figure deals with school-specific booster collectives. “They’re saying there’s a whole class of people (boosters) who can’t participate in the market for athletes’ NIL rights. That’d be like saying red-haired people can’t buy meat. That’s antitrust.”
Make all the rules and bylaws you want, little will change if you aren’t willing and able to enforce them.
Greg Sankey had a choice, and he chose to flex on the rest of college football.
“There’s nothing that exists after Year 12,” Sankey said at the Associated Press Sports Editors Southeast regional meeting. “There’s not the bowl relationships; there’s not a media relationship; there’s not a College Football Playoff format come the 2026 season.”
So from Sankey’s perspective?
“We can stay at four,” he said. “This conference will thrive at four. Period. That’s not healthy for the rest of FBS college football, but we can stay at four.”
More rat poison , this time from Bill Bender over at The Sporting News.
What changed? Alabama added three potential starters in Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs, Georgia receiver Jermaine Burton and LSU cornerback Eli Ricks. Tight end Jahleel Billingsley transferred to Texas.
Low down: Check out next year’s NFL Draft Big Board, which features nine Alabama players in the top 50. That starts with Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young and All-American linebacker Will Anderson Jr. Gibbs, who averaged 150.4 all-purpose yards per game with the Yellow Jackets, also will have a huge impact. Nick Saban kept both coordinators in Bill O’Brien and Pete Golding. The schedule is always tough, but when has that turned back the Tide?
Deion Sanders took to Twitter to complain about a lack of respect for his program from coaches of powerhouse high schools, and that kind of blew up on him thanks to this high school coach.
Goal @DeionSanders, I have tweeted at, emailed, text as many members of your staff as I could (you included) and heard NOTHING back. Same for many other HBCUs. So I ask you to Give us the same respect you’d give IMG, etc! pic.twitter.com/9Ym5IzfORd
— Chris Kokell – Fort Pierce Westwood Prep Academy (@RealCoachK) May 6, 2022
Deion is making a concerted effort to promote Jackson State and HBCU in general to great players in order to elevate the perception of those athletic programs, but Kokell makes a great point. While Sanders is off pandering to the elite kids at big schools, he’s somewhat ignoring the kids who have been able to use the FCS level to showcase their previously undiscovered talents. As far as his complaint goes, a high school coach is just doing his job when he tells a kid to go play at the best program he can get into. If a kid decides to go the HBCU route to further Deion’s mission, like Travis Hunter, then more power to him, but to do so is to sacrifice max development for the NFL.
Bo Scarbrough is going to be toting the rock in Alabama again.
Former Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough has signed with the Birmingham Stallions, the USFL team announced on Monday night.
The only undefeated team remaining in the USFL four weeks into the new spring football league’s season, Birmingham plays the Philadelphia Stars at 11 am CDT Sunday at Protective Stadium in Birmingham. NBC will televise the game.
Last, Alabama basketball patiently awaits a big decision from a transfer target.
Highlighted by McDonald’s All-American and five-star prospects Brandon Miller and Jaden Bradley, this class is ranked higher than the 2017 haul that included Collin Sexton, John Petty and Herbert Jones.
As of now, the only transfer portal addition is point guard Mark Sears from Ohio.
That leaves Alabama’s scholarship count at 11, with two spots to fill.
A decision is expected soon from Oregon State transfer guard Jarod Lucas who is deciding between the Crimson Tide and Nevada.
Jarod Lucas has shot 38% from three over 466 career attempts while playing in the Pac 12. He would be a huge pull for Nate Oats. Mark Sears has also shot 38% for his career on 190 attempts. Add in a recruiting class that consists of three players who are 6’8” are taller plus 6’5” wing Rylan Griffen, and it’s obvious that Oats is focused on correcting two of the team’s big deficiencies last year: outside shooting and length on defense. Now let’s see if they can deliver on those and avoid turnovers.
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.