| FTBL Phillip Marshall is mad again. This time it's about the NIL.


Century Club
HOOVER, Alabama - Nobody can blame Alabama quarterback Bryce Young for cashing in on new NIL rules for what head coach Nick Saban said is “almost seven figures.” No one can blame Texas A&M running back Isiah Spiller and safety Deman for taking $10,000 apiece for providing “exclusive insight.”

But three weeks in, companies being free to pay college athletes exorbitant amounts for use of their name, image or likeness threatens to shake the game to its very core.

Coaches supposedly aren’t allowed to use NIL numbers in recruiting, but that idea is a joke. Saban didn’t break any rules when he told Texas high school coaches about Bryce Young, who has not started a college game, on Tuesday, but he wasn’t just talking to them. He was talking to every quarterback Alabama is recruiting or will recruit.

What seems to have flown over the heads of many is that these things are not normal business transactions. It’s not, in many cases, businesses looking to advertise and make profits. It is boosters who happen to own businesses paying college football players. That’s what it is and what it was always going to be. For those who have enough boosters who are able and willing to throw cash at players, it is maybe the biggest recruiting advantage in the history of college athletics.

From s journalistic standpoint, the Texas A&M deal is sobering.

A real estate outfit called GreenPrint is paying for the players to give exclusive interviews to TexasAgs.com. TexasAgs.com co-owner and executive editor Billy LuccI said in a statement his site is “excited about the ways the NIL changes will allow us to feature Texas A&M athletes, continue to push into new areas of content creation for our subscribers, and expand our work with sponsors."

Paying for interviews is not journalism, but I guess that no longer matters. On the flip side, that has to concern control-freak coaches who want to control when players talk, to whom they talk and what they say.. Can Jimbo Fisher tell players he controls who talks to them for free but not who talks to them for money?

Anyone who believes it is about real business needs only look at the statement from GreenPrint.

“As Aggie business owners, we embrace any opportunity to support local student-athletes and the Aggie community as a whole," GreenPrint owners Geoff Myers and Randy Hightower said in a joint statement posted to TexasAgs.

Auburn certainly has boosters who own businesses and are wealthy enough to join the money race in a big way, but are they willing? I haven’t heard of any who are, but I had not heard of Bryce Young getting big bucks until Tuesday. Who knows?

At SEC Media Days, coaches have approached the subject gingerly. They don’t dare say it’s bad for the game because that would give immediate fodder to opposing recruiters. They have been unanimous in their verbal support of the idea. What do they really believe? We won’t know until it becomes obvious that a handful of programs will have massive advantages.

More thoughts and impressions at the halfway point of SEC Media Days;

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops had some very kind things to say about former Auburn quarterback Joey Gatewood, calling him “a terrific teammate.” But nothing Stoops said sounded particularly promising for Gatewood’s quest to be the starter in the coming season.


SEC commissioner Greg Sankey made a strong case for supporting the many parts of college athletics that have worked well for so many years. But he also acknowledged everything is different. Without some kind of federal action setting some national standards, I fear college athletics – particularly football and men’s basketball - are going to devour themselves.


There has been lots of talk about offense the past two days and not a lot of talk about defense unless it was about how bad LSU and Florida were on that side of the ball. That’s another sign of how the SEC has changed in the years since Bret Bielema and Saban insisted that up-tempo spread offenses should be legislated out of existence.


It seems some coaches who didn’t have winning records last season came out of it feeling like their programs are in good shape. Auburn had a winning record and fired its head coach. Competing on a daily basis with Georgia and Alabama leads to a more demanding existence for Auburn coaches. That’s necessarily a bad thing.

Until tomorrow …


Sideline Club
Paying for interviews is not journalism, but I guess that no longer matters.
So many ways I could go with this but I will just say Marshall should be an expert on what is not journalism...
Competing on a daily basis with Georgia and Alabama leads to a more demanding existence for Auburn coaches. That’s necessarily a bad thing.
Did he mean to say this or forgot "not"?

Such a complex deeply ingrained in the mindset and culture that is the Barner program.
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