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College sports leaders still seeking consistency on NIL regulation

Many prominent figures in college sports, including Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, feel that "college football needs consistency on name, image and likeness rules," according to Brent Zwerneman of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Fisher: “There have to be some kind of rules or guardrails, there’s no doubt. Usually you go, ‘Ready, aim, shoot,’ and we went, ‘Ready, shoot, aim,’ because every state kind of did its own thing. ... Something has to be done to have some uniformity and to have some consistency.” On the impact of NIL and how it is trending, INFLCR CEO Jim Cavale said, “A lot of people think this is a temporary era that will be looked at and studied for years to come ... (but) this is now part of recruiting. And if you don’t like it, you can retire” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/9). Ohio State football coach Ryan Day said of NIL, “There’s risk if you do nothing, you get left behind. If you go to the other end, there’s risk that you get fired for cause for crossing the line. So finding that sweet spot is where the challenge is right now. And when there aren’t clear-cut rules or rules that are being enforced, then it creates hard feelings and unrest” (ON3.com, 5/7).

TURNED A BLIND EYE: YAHOO SPORTS' Shalise Manza Young wrote the NCAA “blew this. No one else.” And now, "people want to try to put the confetti back in the cannon, just as scores of kids are getting to reap the financial rewards they've long been due." The NCAA "had its chance to regulate NIL deals and inducements to play for certain programs." It “plugged its ears, ignoring the ticking that was counting down to a day that was coming ever sooner.” Now that day "has arrived, and it is too late” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/7). ACC Network’s Wes Durham said NIL companies who are “reaching out through one form or another to athletes that aren’t even” in the transfer portal is the “bigger issues and that’s what makes this the wild, wild west” (“Packer and Durham,” ACC Network, 5/9).

BUNCH OF SMOKE: YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote the NCAA is “begging Congress for help; a desperate move for a desperate business model.” Everyone is "asking for ‘regulations’ or ‘guardrails’ or whatever else they want to call it." However, the players and their families "seem quite pleased with their newfound freedom of movement and commerce." Even boosters "aren’t complaining." Wetzel: "For all the Chicken Little crying, nothing bad has actually happened” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/6). ACC Network’s Mark Packer said, “I don’t think college sports, as we know it, can take a passive approach … because you’ve got to clean this up"  (“Packer and Durham,” ACC Network, 5/9).

GUIDELINE ISSUES: Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman, who is part of the NIL working group, said that coming NIL guidelines are an "effort to clarify that a collective run by a donor falls within the meaning of a booster." Ohio State AD Gene Smith: "We could get sued. But, for the betterment of the whole and all the student-athletes we serve, we’ve got to take that risk." Attorney Mike Caspino said, "The moment they come to try to interfere with one of my clients’ deals -- the next day is the moment they get hit with an antitrust lawsuit." Univ. of Miami booster John Ruiz: "The biggest issue is that the schools should be able to participate (in NIL). How can you be punished as a member school for the actions of those you can’t really control?" (THEATHLETIC.com, 5/9).

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