Ole Miss HC Lane Kiffin on NIL Deals Impacting CFB: ‘It’s Professional Sports’

Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin, who spent two years coaching the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, said the arrival of name, image and likeness (NIL) deals has made NCAA recruiting no different than pro leagues’ free agency.

Kiffin was asked about his NIL discussions with recruits Friday during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show (5:10 mark of video).

“It’s professional sports,” he said. “It’s no different than an agent with a free agent saying, ‘OK, we have this from the Raiders, but we’ll come to you with the Falcons if you match it.'”

Kiffin is the latest high-profile coach to speak out about the direction of college sports in the NIL era, which began in June when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the NCAA could not prevent certain payments to student-athletes.

Last week, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney told ESPN’s Chris Low he isn’t against the idea of allowing players to profit off NIL opportunities during the college careers, but he feared a “pay-for-play” system was starting to emerge:

“I am against anything that devalues education. That’s what I’m against. I am for anything that incentivizes education. People will come after me because I’ve always said that I’m against the professionalism of college athletics, and I am. Kids don’t know what they don’t know. That’s a slippery slope if you professionalize college athletics, and now you’ve got salaries and taxes and you can fire kids on the spot and they’ve got to pay for their tuition and they pay for their housing and everything else. Athletic directors would sign up for that in a heartbeat. They’d save money.”

Author: Lucy Green