It’s been less than a year since college athletes were approved to make money off their name, image, and likeness, but some NIL deals are already giving the NCAA a reason to crack down: school boosters.
Some alumni head NIL collectives — third-party entities that develop financial opportunities for college athletes — and aren’t supposed to have any relationships with schools or the recruiting process.
But a number of those alumni wear their school colors with perhaps a little too much pride for the NIL landscape.
- Billionaire John Ruiz has deals with more than 100 Miami Hurricane athletes, including a two-year, $800,000 deal with Kansas State transfer Nijel Pack.
- The Clark Field Collective is paying the Texas O-Line $50,000 each. As of January, it hadn’t been ruled an NCAA violation.
- Some outlets report there could be more than 100 collectives total.
Because of the suspected relations between collectives and schools, some college coaches have called for more NIL regulation, including Alabama’s Nick Saban and Georgia’s Kirby Smart.
Saban and Smart could get the requested regulation in the next week. University administrators, part of a task force reviewing NIL, are reportedly putting together additional rules to clarify that boosters’ and booster-led collectives are prohibited from involving themselves in recruiting.
The NCAA considers boosters as a representative arm of athletic departments, and schools that don’t control donor spending could be sanctioned for violating NCAA rules.