Name, image, and likeness collectives — groups of alumni, boosters, donors, and/or local businesses that have pooled funds to offer deals to a specific school’s athletes — have begun forming nationwide.
After just a few months, it appears they’re starting to make an impact on the football recruiting landscape — by offering six- to seven-figure checks to future players.
- Two football recruits have signed deals with collectives for $1 million or more, and one has signed a contract for $500,000, according to The Athletic.
- The outlet previously reported that a 2023 recruit signed a whopping $8 million deal with their school’s collective.
The news demonstrates how some have found ways to use NIL as an aboveboard form of pay-for-play.
The NCAA has yet to publicly come down on schools for these issues. But with the current legal landscape, it may not have the authority to stop them.
Multiple high-profile FBS coaches have slammed the new NIL developments, including Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Alabama’s Nick Saban, and UNC’s Mack Brown.
“It needs to be stopped — or it’s going to change the direction of college football,” Brown said Tuesday following spring practice.
It’s unclear whether NIL collectives themselves will severely alter the recruiting landscape or just become the latest tool for the wealthiest programs and their allies to bait recruits — as they already do with perks like lavish locker rooms and other promises.