Name, image and likeness (NIL) has become a prevailing topic in NCAA athletics since new policies were enacted last summer, and though players have been able to profit, the new world hasn’t come without headaches for coaches and administrators alike as they attempt to navigate the new policies. SEC head football coaches met with commissioner Greg Sankey Thursday in Birmingham, and Sankey said on the Paul Finebaum Show that there was clear frustration among coaches regarding differences in NIL laws on a state-by-state level.
“I had conversations individually (with coaches) before that meeting,” Sankey told Finebaum. “You don’t want to just wait until everyone gathers. You take a step back. Our coaches are dealing with a different reality and that creates discomfort. It creates stress. And it creates commentary. But our coaches still work incredibly hard. They are subject to state laws … they work with their compliance offices. Simply suggesting whether it’s Coach A or Coach B that ‘wow, the only reason somebody had recruiting success because of NIL’ — that’s not actually fully-informed opinion. At the same time, it is a dynamic in recruiting now.
“Candidly, two years ago (the two of us) were talking about NIL and we felt pretty strongly that we should be thinking about laws at the state and federal level that could try to wall that off in the recruiting activity and make it a normal business relationship. Yet that doesn’t seem really practical. So most of the conversations between me and coaches took place in advance. In the room, (there was) a lot of frustration about the fact that there are 11 different approaches based on the state laws. And (there was) a very clear expression for a need for commonality to the extent that can become achieved. And that becomes a congressional-level conversation.”