Thursday, May 26, 2022

Deion Sanders shares insight on NIL affecting player behavior, telling NCAA, ‘you’ve got a real problem’

Name, image and likeness has become college football’s dominant storyline in 2022. With booster collectives driving so many pay-for-play opportunities disguised as NIL, the NCAA’s Board of Directors is promising stricter enforcement by enacting more guidelines moving forward. That undertaking will be a challenge, to say the least, and the consequences of NIL are already being seen, as explained by Jackson State coach Deion Sanders. 

In a one-minute video posted to his Twitter account, “Coach Prime” shared his thoughts on the recent NIL developments.

“See, with the NIL — which really ain’t NIL because it ain’t no name, image, and likeness — it’s just pay-per-view right now,” said Sanders. “That’s what they’re doing at the big boys; little boys, we can’t compete with that. But, anyway, you’ve got a problem.”

Six- and seven-figure deals at the Power Five level are not uncommon, but NIL’s reach has gone down to the FCS level, too. Coincidentally, Travis Hunter, the No. 1 prospect from the 2022 class who stunned the recruiting world during the Early Signing Period by flipping to Jackson State from Florida State, recently inked a deal of his own with J5 Caffe. 

“When you start paying athletes like they’re professionals, you get athletes acting like they’re professionals,” Sanders continued. “You don’t have staffs large enough and equipped enough to handle a young man with money.

“Let me go deeper: handle a young man that’s making more money than some of the coaches on staff. You’ve got a real problem. So, I suggest to you to allow college teams to hire more qualified men. Qualified … that can handle these young men that’s getting this money.”

You can see the entire video from Sanders below: 

FBS teams are allowed to have 10 on-field coaches. However, support staff members — including multiple offensive and defensive “analysts” — have become a big part of top-tier programs over the last decade. One could infer that Sanders is pushing for more staff members who focus on relationships and the mental aspect of juggling the multiple concerns players have outside of football complexes. 

Sanders took over Jackson State two years ago and has quickly grabbed headlines with his work with the Tigers, leading them to an 11-2 record (9-0 in SWAC) and a berth in the Celebration Bowl in 2021. The former FSU great, who is a member of both the Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fame. has quickly become one of college football’s most influential voices outside the major programs as well. 

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