Thanks, Nick! I started to understand how messy this situation would be after hearing all the NIL questions from reporters at Pac-12 Media Day in 2019.

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I don't know why Nick chooses to work here in the TwistNHook content mines for free, but I'm glad he's here. Please buy Nick a taco when you see him.

I agree that NIL hasn't really done anything except move the money from under the table to above board AND taken it out of athletic department bagmen and allowed it to go directly to the players, however, as per usual the NCAA launched without much of a plan.

For football specifically, I heard Spencer Hall (edsbs) on Golic and Smetty's podcast recently, and I'm sure he's talked about this in one of the many other places he shows up mention football exiting the NCAA. His reasons were that the bowls + tv mainly benefit and fund the conferences, NOT the NCAA and the main money maker at the NCAA is March Madness; pulling football out would allow for a different set of rules - alas the problem remains that why would conferences listen to a football commissioner when the SEC probably has different goals than the ACC or Pac-12.

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May 18, 2022·edited May 18, 2022

Which is why there is the alliance, where three conferences can at least be aligned on major tentpoles.

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May 16, 2022·edited May 16, 2022Liked by Nick Kranz

Thanks Nick...good article.

Exactly...the NIL has basically legitimized/legalized the ‘cheating’ that was already taking place, with the NCAA by and large giving passes to it’s blue blood offenders...Bill Self’s program is under investigation, yet Kansas just cut the nets down with barely a mention of it the by the National media...Sean Miller found himself in hot water for the Ayton situation in Tucson, yet here he is, back coaching at Xavier, who will probably be in the Sweet 16 within a couple of years...his former Arizona team suffered nary a hiccup...Bruce Pearl has been busted multiple times, yet there he is, still on the sidelines at Auburn with a perennial top 5 team, while his former assistant coach practically did time. Let’s not even get started on Lincoln Riley and SC, where they could have two different skill position players making nearly $2 million apiece to play collegiate football.

The latest trend figures to be the collegiate ‘holdout,’ popularized by University of Miami SG Isaiah Wong, who through his advisor threatened to enter the transfer portal IF the U and Miami boosters, through a ‘collective,’ did not up his NIL deal in the wake of the Hurricanes landing prized K-State transfer Nijel Pack, not surprisingly with his own massive NIL deal.

Not sure how this helps Cal in the slightest, who like a majority of schools and as Nick pointed out, is far on the outside looking in, as they likely lack both the institutional machinations and leadership to put a proper NIL plan together.

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May 16, 2022Liked by Nick Kranz

Nice article that covers many perspectives. Thank you. Revolutions are never clean, right? I agree with those below saying that the ultimately the players will be better off, and I'm all for that. Wilcox has said he believes Cal will be net positive in the transfer portal, and so far so good. Cal has outstanding academics and geography on it's side, and under Wilcox a great team culture. But there are still only so many spots on a team, and there academic requirements, so someone is still going to have to go to WSU or OSU.

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Contrary to popular belief, people don't always grab the largest bag of cash. If we can ensure local players get a little NIL cash to offset the high cost of living, it could help keep them local. Being close to home also conveys a psychological and financial benefit. Plus, playing time can be easier to get at Cal vs. Alabama. The psychological boost of cash is temporary so we absolutely should be able to snag some high-powered transfers if we're responsive to player/recruit concerns.

In reality, I don't really see these changes as bad but they are disruptive. They do put a premium on schools to be adaptable. Some current powers will probably will get knocked down for being too conservative and heavy-handed with players.

Also agree that we'll eventually see some stability whether it come from the SEC stepping into the power vacuum of a feckless NCAA or by a players' union. But I am confident that the players will be in a better position at the end of the day and that's a win in my eyes. A labor market is still labor market and it's hard to find one worse than the monopsony of the status quo ante.

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With regards to the portal, so many kids from so many different sports are entering the portal. And yet there may not be spaces available for all of them. While the decision to enter rests on the athlete what happens when they find themselves out of their sport (no schollie offered elsewhere) and out of an education?

NIL is out of control (really 2 players at $C are getting $2 million) but we knew that would happen. I don't object to NIL and the barn door is wide open so nothing to stop its momentum. It will make it that much sweeter when Cal plays and beats these big NIL teams because the culture of the team will beat out the individual prima donnas.

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Haves and have nots to be sure but I agree with Ketamine below that overall the change is good and will lead to more benefits for players at run of the mill football powers, for example perhaps a stipend or some sort of monthly payout that will make things easier for the student athletes. Will we ever see parity with the football royalty? (Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, etc. ) probably not in our lifetimes since NIL just reinforces the reality of what was already in place.

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I just invented a brand new concept. It goes something like this:

From each player according to his abilities, to each player according to his needs.

Let sponsors pay for the names/likeness but all the money goes to a general fund that is divided among all Division 1 players.

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good article, although I'm skeptical of the conclusion that things will all shake out and land basically where we are today

several things concern me about the brave new world...

1. I doubt the under-the-table payments to players were the size of the deals we are hearing about. yeah, paying for housing of relatives, free flights/hotel for families, use of a fancy car, $20k cash, etc.

I doubt even Uncle Phil would pay a player $500K under the table

2. tampering was bad before, but I hear that it's now on a fast train to nashville

3. are collectives REALLY going to be ON TOP of donations to schools, or are they closer to a zero-sum game?

4. I think some schools will TRY to play by the rules, where others (like Miami and Webber State)

5. the article leaves out the california law that is working it's way through congress. If approved, will be another torpedo direct hit into starboard

6. the free market rules in the new world of college sports, with no breakers or guard rails ... in a free market, there are winners and losers ... the winners get bigger, the losers get weaker and drop out. Only 30 NBA teams and 32 NFL teams, and small market teams struggle

7. any rules restricting players from transferring in any way, short of a collective bargaining agreement will be impossible. I think this is good in general, but see #2 above

8. there are no rules remaining to even attempt to maintain competitive balance, besides a number of scholarship limit and number of coaches limit. With NIL, the first is basically eliminated (see byu) and the second is also being eliminated

9. as the article points out, it's pretty difficult to conclude we are not operating a professional football league. How this is part of the University mission is getting harder to say.

10. all of these changes will result in lower revenues and higher expenses to the University, unless these changes result in Cal being in the surviving super league. This will either require higher subsidies from the University or requires cuts in expenses ... some of those cuts will result in cutting teams

11. I could go on, but you can see that I'm not as optimistic as the writer ... but we will see ...

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