Kirby Smart took the stage at the SEC Media Days on Wednesday and spoke about the impacts of NIL (Name, image and likeness) on college football and how it has effected Georgia football specifically.
“What’s good is NIL is good on the basis of what NIL is based on, okay? For Dan Jackson to be a walk-on from Gainesville, Georgia, come in and get an opportunity to earn money for his education, that is good. For a young man that has a father that’s on dialysis in south Georgia and he can’t support his father unless he goes back and works or he gets NIL, that is good.
We have 95 players right now with NIL deals that are on our roster. That’s incredible, the depth of that. There’s so much good there.
It’s the guardrails. It’s the parameters that we need to protect our game. Not only protect our game, guys, it’s protect young men, okay?
We may have had the highest-paid defensive lineman last year in NIL in Jordan Davis. We had the highest-paid tight end in Brock Bowers. Kelee Ringo I would argue is probably one of the highest-paid corners there is in NIL. So NIL can be a good thing and they can learn to manage money at a young age.”
NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe was critical of Smart’s comments and outlook on NIL on his daily show ‘Undisputed’ on Fox Sports 1.
Unc Shannon sharpe went off on Georgia Bulldogs football coach Kirby Smart over his NIL Comments pic.twitter.com/9VdduGKZgs
— Shannon sharpes burner (@shannonsharpeee) July 20, 2022
“We arguably had the highest-paid defensive lineman, the highest-paid tight end, and probably the highest-paid cornerback in the NIL market”, Smart said.” I would rival anyone in the country with 95 NIL deals coming off a national championship.”
Former Georgia linebacker, 2021 Butkus Award winner and 2022 NFL draft pick, Nakobe Dean, responded to Sharpe’s comments on Twitter.
I really did show up to UGA out the kindness of my heart though😂😂
…and I wanted to win https://t.co/u7F2fXjjDf
— Nakobe Dean🔝🔜 (@NakobeDean) July 21, 2022
Like everything in college football right now, NIL is not so simple.