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As explained on Tuesday, the NCAA is currently experiencing the chaos it deserves. One coach whose program had made real recruiting strides before the NIL floodgates opened has spoken out regarding the realities of college players suddenly having money.
“When you start paying athletes like they’re professionals, you get athletes acting like they’re professionals,” Jackson State coach Deion Sanders said in a video posted on Twitter, via USA Today. “And you don’t have staffs large enough and equipped enough to handle a young man with money. Let me go deeper. Handle a young man that’s making more money than some of the coaches on staff.”
Sanders wants the NCAA to authorize teams to broaden their staffs to ensure that young men with money act appropriately.
“I suggest to you to allow college teams to hire more qualified men. Qualified, that can handle these young men that’s getting this money,” Sanders said.
To his credit, Sanders admitted his bias on the issue. Schools like Jackson State will get left in the dust by larger programs that naturally will attract more name, image, and likeness money for its players.
“See, with the NIL, which really ain’t NIL because it ain’t no name, image, and likeness. It’s just pay-per view right now,” Sanders said. “That’s what they’re doing at the big boys, little boys we can’t compete with that. But anyway, you’ve got a problem.”
The NCAA does indeed have a problem. And it flows from the fact that the NCAA has exploited student-athletes in revenue-generating sports for decades, not giving them fair value while hiding behind rules that constitute antitrust violations and delaying the reckoning as long as possible.
“I’m trying to help before it blows up in your face,” Sanders tweeted.
It already has. And the NCAA has only itself to blame for taking advantage of these players (Sanders included, during the late 1980s) for so long.
At this point, everyone needs to deal with the new reality. It’s far more fair to the players than it used to be.
And if it results in some players misbehaving or whatever, so be it. If NIL had been a thing during Deion’s career, he would have made more money than anyone, he would have made no apologies to anyone, and if a fiftysomething coach were bellyaching about it, young Deion would have told him to quit whining.
Deion Sanders warns against college players being paid like professionals originally appeared on Pro Football Talk