Michael Vick admits that NIL would have kept him at Virginia Tech longer

Michael Vick said that if he had an NIL deal, he would have remained at Virginia Tech for another year instead of going to the NFL draft.

Amidst the debate about whether college sports are better or worse with the  allowances for athletes to profit off name, image and likeness, former star quarterback Michael Vick brought up a way NIL can help the NCAA manage a different struggle it has had: keeping athletes in school.

Vick, who was drafted No. 1 overall in 2001 out of Virginia Tech and starred on the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL, said he would have stayed in college longer if he had an NIL deal.

“I wasn’t the guy who wanted to leave early, but because of circumstances in my life I felt like I was forced to leave early,” he said during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show.

“I wanted to enjoy that college experience, I feel like I was just growing into my own, growing into a man and I just didn’t want to make life super serious, but sometimes as a young man you’ve got to make adult decisions and that was the decision I made at the time.”

Vick redshirted his first season at Virginia Tech before starting as a sophomore and junior. The Hokies went 11-1 in both seasons and finished 1999 as the No. 2 team on the AP Poll.

Vick didn’t need to stay in college for his senior year to help his draft stock. But, he said, he would have wanted to live the college life and that he thinks he could have made “north of a million” dollars on an NIL deal.

His rookie contract was for $62 million over six years, about 10 times as much as his NIL projection, so it’s still tough to be convinced that it would have been enough to coax him. But if it had, the most electric athlete in the NCAA may have stayed for an extra year, which would have been great for college football.

Some of the most prominent high school athletes today are in similar NIL talks that Vick hypothesized. Would any other pro-ready athlete choose to remain in college for a year if money came along with it? NCAA men’s basketball in particular would benefit, as it could tamper down on some of the one-and-done players that have left a revolving door for the face of college basketball. Players who have chosen the G League or another alternative route may also be more strongly considering college. At the baseball level, many players get drafted out of high school and play in the minor leagues instead of college. Perhaps money here could sway them.

As for the Hokies, after going 22-2 over two years, they’re just left to wonder what a third season with Vick could have been.

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On3 breaks down the Impressive NIL deals Alabama stars have landed

How much are Alabama superstar’s NIL deals worth?

Alabama‘s [autotag]Bryce Young[/autotag] and [autotag]Will Anderson[/autotag] will be worth a lot of money one day in the NFL, however, due to the new NIL laws in place, they are worth a lot now. But how much are the two superstars really worth? On3 breaks it down.

Young signed a new NIL deal this week with Daniel A. Moore’s Crimson Connections, a collection of oil paintings. Young still leads college football in NIL valuations amassing $3.1 million, trailing only Bronny James, who is at an astounding $6.3 million. From being a Heisman Trophy winner to the amount of social media influence Young garnishes, he is worth every penny to his sponsors.

Anderson is the seventh most valued player in NIL at $1.3 million. What makes this that much more impressive is that Anderson is not a huge social media advocate and plays on the defensive side of the ball. So he won’t pull in the same level of attention as Young does, but he is dominant in his own right. Being a member of the Tide will get you paid.

Both of these guys are just collecting a sweet mini-pay day before likely being top five picks in next year’s 2023 NFL Draft.

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Lane Kiffin: ‘Why did Bryce Young not enter the portal?’

Lane Kiffin believes Bryce Young could have leveraged his Heisman for more NIL money

After Alabama head coach [autotag]Nick Saban[/autotag] and Texas A&M head coach [autotag]Jimbo Fisher[/autotag] got into a war of words last week, it was just a matter of time before Ole Miss head coach and former Alabama offensive coordinator [autotag] Lane Kiffin[/autotag] got the chance to chime in. Kiffin sat down with Sports Illustrated to share his thoughts on how NIL is changing the game.

While there may be a lot of things you can call Kiffin, a liar is not one of them, he will always tell you exactly how he feels. Kiffin believes that college football has become a professional sport and that 100% of high school players are making the decision based off of their personal NIL options.

Kiffin gave a lot of food for thought, however, his most interesting quote was, “why did [autotag]Bryce Young[/autotag] not go into the portal?” While it would be foolish for Young to leave Alabama and give up a chance at another national title, there is no telling the deal he could have pulled in on the open market.

By entering the portal, Young would have been offered millions and millions of dollars by different suitors. Who’s to say that  the likes of a USC wouldn’t have paid $10 million for the reigning Heisman trophy winner to jump start their program once again.

NIL also is widening the gap between the elites in college football and the others, and for this reason Kiffin believes Saban will coach forever and continue to win national titles. It will be interesting to see what changes are made in the coming months and years.

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Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher fires back at Nick Saban’s NIL remarks

The NCAA’s first heavyweight NIL fight.

Aggies football coach Jimbo Fisher wasted zero time responding to accusations made by Alabama’s Nick Saban that Texas A&M bought players under the guise of NIL deals.

“It’s despicable that a reputable head coach can come out and say this when he doesn’t get his way or things don’t go his way,” Fisher said. “The narcissistic in (Saban) doesn’t allow those things to happen. It’s ridiculous, when he’s not on top.”

The crux of this came about when Saban made comments Wednesday at an event promoting the World Games 2022 Birmingham, where he questioned the Aggies’ 2022 recruiting class—which ranked No. 1 according to the 247Sports Composite.

“We were second in recruiting last year,” Saban said. “A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness. We didn’t buy one player. But I don’t know if we’re going to be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it.”

Saban’s comments were similar to the ones directed at Deion Sanders and Jackson State, a program that made major headlines after top recruit Travis Hunter flipped from Florida State to the HBCU school.

As expected, Sanders was quick to voice a rebuttal via social media.

Hunter also released a statement, which further shaded Saban’s allegations and backed the 5-star’s choice to head to JSU.

“I am making this decision so that I can light the way for others to follow, make it a little easier for the next player to recognize that (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) may be everything you want and more: an exciting college experience, a vital community, and a life-changing place to play football.”

So, what’s next?

In the slow days of early summer in the college football world and general sports news cycle, probably a lot.

And while we all await to see if Saban and Sanders will star in another Aflac commercial—both have the brand in their endorsement portfolio—most of the offseason attention will now be directed at Fisher, the first former Saban assistant to defeat the coach.

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Alyssa and Gisele Thompson become first to sign high school NIL deal with Nike

Alyssa and Gisele Thompson make history as Nike’s first high school NIL athletes.

Two California soccer standouts, sisters Alyssa and Gisele Thompson, are the first high school students to sign a name, image and likeness deal with Nike.

The groundbreaking, multiyear agreement—with terms that have not yet been disclosed—was announced Tuesday, and quickly spread around social media:

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A post shared by espnW (@espnw)

It’s Nike’s third major NIL deal, with UCLA sophomore Reilyn Turner signing this past December, followed by Stanford sophomore Rachel Heck, who was Pac-12 Golfer of the Year in 2021.

The deals signal another progression in the NIL space for both men and women athletes, perhaps more so when considering Nike’s clout in the sports world.

As for Alyssa (a junior) and Gisele (a sophomore), both will suit up for Harvard-Westlake (Los Angeles, Calif.) in 2022 and have committed to play soccer at Stanford after graduation. 

The sisters’ representation, Evan Sroka of A&V Sports, told the Los Angeles Times that they structured the deal with Nike alongside Stanford to guarantee that both would maintain NCAA eligibility.

Meanwhile, the Thompsons continue to shine. Alyssa, who started for USA’s U-20 team, and Gisele, a starter for the U-17 USA team, both earned Concacaf Championship nods in the past three months. 

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Auburn guard inks NIL deal with Next Sports Agency

Auburn guard signs a NIL deal with Next Sports Agency.

On Tuesday, Auburn guard [autotag]Wendell Green Jr. [/autotag]announced via his Twitter that he had signed a NIL deal with Next Sports Agency. On July 1, 2021, college athletes were allowed to receive profits from NIL (name, image,  likeness) deals. It has since become very popular in college sports. This new agreement provides college athletes with the opportunity to receive compensation for their hard work.

Green Jr. transferred to Auburn from Eastern Kentucky. The Michigan native spent one season with the Colonels. He averaged 15.8 points per game and shot 39.6% from the floor. With the Tigers this past season, he would average 12 points per game and shoot 36.5% from the floor. His ability to make lengthy three-point shots and distribute the ball is what makes his role on the team so pivotal.

In 2021, [autotag]Bruce Pearl[/autotag] chose to use Green Jr. as a “sixth man”. However, he still averaged 26.4 minutes per game. This season many expect the Tigers to insert Green Jr. into the starting lineup. That may not be the case with both Zep Jasper and K.D. Johnson set to return. Nonetheless, his role will be crucial to the Tigers’ success in the ’22-23 season.

Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin discussed the NIL bidding war

Auburn’s head coach weighs in on NIL at the Regions Tradition Pro-Am in Birmingham.

As we have seen in recent months, there seems to be a NIL bidding war for recruits. We have seen it recently with former Pittsburgh Panthers WR Jordan Addison. There have been anonymous reports that he had a six-figure NIL deal on the table if he transferred out.

While this could a total fabrication, it could also be true and we will leave that up to your interpretation. However, we would be gullible to believe that there aren’t deals of this magnitude floating around. The NCAA opened pandora’s box when they allowed athletes to cash in on their name, image, and likeness. I am fully in favor of athletes taking advantage, but deals such as the ones floating around come with the territory.

Recently the NCAA Board of Directors recently released guidelines for NIL moving forward.

“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.

As far as the Auburn Tigers and head coach Bryan Harsin are concerned, the head coach stated that he isn’t involved at the Regions Tradition Pro-Am in Birmingham on Wednesday.

The Montgomery Advertiser’s Bennett Durando detailed Harsin’s comments in regards to NIL and how Auburn is handling it.

“No – NIL is so new, but no,” Harsin said. “And there’s not really a NIL department (at Auburn). This topic is one that there are a lot of questions about it, not just from the media but everybody. It’s just so new, so there’s really not a good answer on how everybody’s handling it.”

When the Advertiser asked Harsin last week at an alumni event in Huntsville whether NIL is bleeding into the recruiting space, the second-year coach said, “Everything that anybody does, no matter when bleeds into recruiting. It’s always about that. As a coach, you always have to think about that.”

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Current high school NIL rules in each of the 50 states (plus D.C.)

A current rundown that shows which states have adopted rules in favor of high school athletes benefiting from name, image and likeness.

When the NCAA adopted language just over a year ago that allowed college athletes to earn money—or benefit, as it was termed—from their name, image and likeness (NIL), it created a new chapter in amateur athletics, one that was as groundbreaking as it was, at times, confusing.

Since then, we’ve seen NIL deals take form at the NCAA level, with athletes singing endorsements never thought possible. But the unknowns remain, and really, have only grown as NIL questions and curiosities have been met by state rules and regulations that have been anything but uniform.

What are the current regulations regarding name, image and likeness in your state?

As expected, the variances make understanding or adhering to NIL guidelines much more complex, where your state might not even allow such deals, but the school you’re about to attend does. Or, in some cases, the answer is …. unclear.

Based on data from Business of College Sports, here is the current rundown of NIL guidelines for all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

First of its kind: A player-led scholarship opportunity funded through NIL may start trend

Bryce Young reportedly brought in a lot of NIL money in 2021, might he soon follow Oregon State DB Alex Austin’s idea of starting a scholarship?

In July of 2021, the collegiate athletics landscape shifted greatly when it was announced that players from all across the nation would be able to profit off of their name, image and likeness (“NIL”). The change in policy was a complete turnaround from the strict prohibition of student athletes earning money or obtaining any sort of gift.

The long-debated topic has been a controversial one among fans, coaches, administrators and players. Being in the early stages of an NIL-friendly world, those topics have often times been exacerbated .

Questions raised regarding how it will affect the players’ mentality, the impact it would have on recruiting, will there be limitations and more are all legitimate.

With only one college football season in the books within the NIL-Era, it’s not entirely fair to judge the policy and its effect on college football.

Nick Saban claimed that the Crimson Tide’s then-sophomore quarterback, Bryce Young, had earned nearly seven figures in NIL deals within the first month of the policy’s existence.

Some teams have even seen entire groups of players land NIL sponsorships. For example, every offensive lineman on scholarship for the Texas Longhorns receives $50,000 annually from a non-profit organization for their use of the linemen’s name, image and likeness.

More recently, Texas A&M has become the center of rumors regarding NIL deals promised to recruits. The Aggies did finish the 2022 recruiting cycle with the highest-ranked class, according to 247Sports, but head coach Jimbo Fisher adamantly opposes the notion that money played a role in landing some of the top commits in the country. In fact, he found it “insulting.”

Regardless of how one might feel about student-athletes earning money through NIL, there is a specific avenue that no one has taken, until now.

Alex Austin is a rising-senior defensive back at Oregon State, who had 48 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defended in the 2021 season; but Austin is now making headlines for another reason.

Austin didn’t see NIL as a way to make money, but as an opportunity to raise money and help others.

Through his NIL representation at First Round Management and NIL representative Shawn O’Gorman, Austin has launched the first-ever NIL-funded scholarship for high school and college students.

The “Alex Austin Overcoming Adversity Scholarship” is hosted on Access Scholarship’s website and is co-funded by both Access Scholarship and the Hirect App, which both contributed $1,000 to the fund.

The scholarship is essay-based, where applicants will have to write about adversity they have faced and how they have or plan to overcome it. There will be one first-place winner, earning $1,000; and two second-place winners, earning $500 each.

O’Gorman mentioned Austin desired to give back to his community in some way, but didn’t want to follow the route others have taken-it has become commonplace in NIL for players to host camps for children in their hometowns, or for players to work with smaller, local businesses.

To Austin, adversity was a big part of his life and believes it shaped him to be the person he is today.

As Austin’s NIL representative, O’Gorman assisted in establishing the fund through the help of the two brands involved. He claimed that various other brands have reached out since the launch of the scholarship, wanting to get involved in future, similar opportunities. He also stated that Austin wants to make the scholarship an annual deal, with prize money increasing over time as more brands partner with him.

O’Gorman has been working with players across the nation since the policy was enacted, and he believes Austin’s scholarship will open the eyes of many players and representatives alike and could potentially “open the floodgates” to having more charitable NIL deals take place, including some of the biggest names in all of collegiate athletics.

With some of the nation’s most high-profile student athletes reportedly earning seven figures, like Bryce Young, the possibilities are endless.

Some have claimed that NIL will lead to players focusing on the money instead of the game, or that these young athletes will become greedy as a result of coming into money very quickly; but Oregon State’s Alex Austin is changing the narrative, and a trend may soon begin.

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