• Loading stock data...
Saturday, July 20, 2024
Join us this September for Tuned In Request to Attend

Notre Dame AD Thinks College Athletics ‘Screwed Up’ on NIL

  • Swarbrick said a lack of regulation has created a pay-for-play environment.
  • Experts have told FOS, though, that this environment has been blown out of proportion.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

This week, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick became the latest college sports official to lament the NIL era — and paint a relatively inaccurate portrait of a landscape that he feels administrators don’t have enough control over.

In a video interview posted by the university, Swarbrick thinks that the college sports industry has completely “screwed up” the first year of the name, image, and likeness era.

“The intention was to put student-athletes in a position that every other student at Notre Dame enjoys, which is they can benefit from their name, image, likeness and ideas,” he said, noting that he was originally very much in favor of restoring athletes’ NIL rights. “The musician can play in a club on the weekend, the artists can sell art. You couldn’t do anything.”

Instead, he complained, a lack of regulation has created an environment where deals disguised as pay-for-play reign supreme. Most deals are “talent acquisition fees where I’m paying you to come to our school,” he said. 

“And we have to find a way to get away from that.”

The problem with Swarbrick’s comments? Pay-for-play inducements — and particularly the NIL collectives that are reportedly powering them — are being blown way out of proportion, experts have told Front Office Sports. 

While they do exist, they’re a much smaller segment of the overall NIL market than administrators like Swarbrick have made them out to be.

After all, the top football recruiting classes, for example, are generally the same as always — with the exception of surprise top-three class Texas A&M. And for all his complaining about the unfairness of NIL, Nick Saban still boasts a top recruiting class for the Crimson Tide.

Swarbrick is right about one thing, though: In talking about his hopes for federal regulation, he’s noted he has little confidence that Congress will get around to NIL anytime soon.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The Road to the Return of ‘EA Sports College Football’

This summer, the biggest development in college sports is virtual.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

‘EA Sports College Football 25’: It’s More Than a Game

0:00

Featured Today

Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.
July 14, 2024

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.
Oct 2, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goddell speaks during the Don Shula Celebration of Life at Hard Rock Stadium.
July 13, 2024

The NFL Is Confident It Can Overturn the Sunday Ticket Verdict

The league may have good reason to believe it can win.
July 8, 2024

NFLPA Report Cards Have Become the ‘Talk of the Locker Room’ Across..

NFLPA report cards have become the ‘talk of the locker room.’

Pac-12 Media Days Evolve Into a Cocktail Party at the Bellagio

The two-team ‘zombie conference’ is still hosting a football media day.
July 9, 2024

Arch Manning Will Be in EA’s ‘College Football 25’ After All

The NCAA’s most famous backup had previously opted out.
July 9, 2024

Big 12’s New Era Kicks Off: Expansion, Private Equity, and Global Ambitions

The new 16-team conference is holding media days in Las Vegas.
Sponsored

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
July 8, 2024

Dan Hurley Finally Has New UConn Deal After Dramatic Offseason

Hurley is now the second-highest-paid coach in college basketball. 
July 7, 2024

The New College Sports Insiders Are Graphic Designers

Joe Tipton and Hayes Fawcett have become premier news-breakers on social media.
July 2, 2024

Navigating College Football’s 2024 Realignment Landscape: What’s Next?

Conferences are officially adding schools this summer.
April 13, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Emeka Egbuka (2) catches a pass for the scarlet team while defended by cornerback Jordan Hancock (7) of the grey team during the first half of the LifeSports Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.
July 1, 2024

As NIL Turns Three, Collectives and Football Still Control the Industry

Collectives dominate NIL, and football makes up most of collective budgets.