Kirby Smart discusses Georgia having 95 players with NIL deals

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The Southeastern Conference media days are taking place at the College Football Hall of Fame and The Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The 2022 media days are taking place July 18-21 and SEC Network is televising the annual event.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart took part in media days Wednesday.

Smart discussed name, image and likeness within Georgia’s program.

“The NIL program we have in place, we have a Classic City Collective run by Matt Hibbs who does a tremendous job,” Smart said. “It’s built on being sustainable. I don’t think what’s going on in college football right now at some places is sustainable, meaning, Can you do that year in and year out and repeat that? Can you honor the commitment that some people are trying to make to kids to get them to go to their school? It’s not good for college football, what’s out there.

“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, but to use it as inducement to get a young man to go to your school is not good for anybody or the game. I don’t have the answer for how to guardrail that, but NIL has been good to Georgia and it’s been good to our players and it will continue to be.”