Name, image and likeness has been in the news virtually since a week before July 1, when college players could preserve their eligibility while signing marketing and endorsement deals. However, while we’ve discussed the topic from a player standpoint and even passed along a top tax expert’s thoughts on how to prepare for NIL, we haven’t looked at it from a scout’s perspective until today.
We asked several director-level executives to take time out from their vacations to answer this question: “Do you see the NIL issue becoming part of your background sweep? Will you be asking if players have deals, and how they handled them? Will you ask schools if their NIL stuff has become a problem?”
Here were their responses:
- “Big picture, it’s not positive or negative. I’m all for the players’ ability to make money off their name, their likeness, their image, but in reality, it’s gonna change the landscape of college football. As many things happen, it will shape and shift things differently. I don’t think any of us know how. . . Everything is just data to us. In the end, hopefully, you have the full puzzle.”
- “For us, I don’t think it’ll be more than another point of character background to follow up on. How did the kid handle it . . . work with school, agent, company, all parties involved etc. There’s NO doubt this will be a headache for schools, compliance (helping kids understand tax ramifications and such). Could even cause issues among teammates vying for same deals? It’ll take some time to settle into.”
- “Absolutely will be asking, but not in a punitive way. More to add another piece of the puzzle that we haven’t been able to assess before. If a player handles it well, (if) his NIL deals don’t hinder performance or being a good teammate, that would speak to a degree of maturity that we haven’t been able to evaluate.”
- “Absolutely. It’s a part of who they are now. It will give you a bit of a tell on how they handle money, off-field stuff, can they juggle that while maintaining their ability as a football player, etc. There will absolutely be cautionary tales.”
- “I definitely think there are questions to ask from it. I think asking about how it was handled as well as doing some further digging can tell you a little about the player. I think in most cases the player will say it was never a problem, so there may need to be some digging. . . On a side note, I think this will further the talent gap between the top and bottom schools as those with a huge alumni base will basically pay more and more players to play at the bigger schools.”
That’s not all they said. We have more responses from college directors and national scouts in this week’s Friday Wrap, which comes out (duh) Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. It’s jam-packed every week with news of the football business world that you can’t find anywhere else. You can register for it here.