The NIL Effect

Jordan Addison won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top wide receiver in his freshman year at Pittsburgh.

Now, he's in the transfer portal.

We knew that NIL would change the college football atmosphere. But one of the top athletes in a Power Five conference leaves at the drop of a hat? The answer is clear: the lure of NIL money is changing the game faster than we could even imagine.

While no one really objects to college athletes being compensated for their name, image and likeness (and I'm certainly not objecting to it either), there needs to be policies quickly put into place. The NCAA's power is fading by the day, so it's going to have to come down to the conferences to set some ground rules.

With that being said, here's a few ideas.

1) Cut the times of the transfer portal. The NCAA needs to have two transfer portal periods that last just three weeks each: one in the spring and one in the fall. Make a move or not, but athletes should have just a week and allow their former teams ample time to find recruits or other transfers.

2) Limit NIL deals for transfer. Any transfer athlete can sign a NIL deal with his/her new university. However, for the first season, they can only take NIL money that matches the amount they had at their former school. If an athlete had a deal for $20,000 at School A, he/she can only accept $20,000 at School B for their first year. After their first year, the limit disappears. This won't fix all of the issues, but it will set a limit for athletes. And it will open a window to force boosters to behave, or else.

3) Non-compete clauses. Just like a coach, and like many Americans in the workforce today, athletes should have non-compete clauses. When a recruit signs their scholarship agreement, it should have a non-compete clause that limits them from transferring to any school within their respective conference.

4) Punishments for tampering. During the three-week portal period, coaches have free rein to recruit athletes. However, the current status quo coaches recruiting current college athletes during the season and throughout the year is definitely adding a lot of fuel to fires. There needs to be policies put in place that prevent tampering from boosters and coaches, and make them worth it. A booster that gets caught is banned from giving NIL contracts or any association with their school for 10 years on a first offense, and lifetime bans for their second. A coach that tampers should be fined 50% of their salary on their first offense, and 100% of their salary with a two-year show cause for a second offense.

The one thing the NCAA failed miserably at during punishments was that they consistently tried to use postseason bans, loss of scholarships or forfeits. They never really used the best way to punish a program: hitting them in the checkbook. With massive TV contracts and revenues in college sports, the way to keep programs as clean as they can is to punish them financially. And the key to putting restraints on the NIL is to punish programs financially that take things too far.

Overall, NIL is a great deal for college athletes, especially those who are on partial scholarships. However, the free agency circus that's been happening right now can't be the norm for years to come. Now is the time for the Power Five and the NCAA to step up and lay down the law.

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