Georgia football coach Kirby Smart sees the positive side of NIL, which allows players to make money off their name, image and likeness.
For those old heads who think college athletes making money is ruining the game itself, this is not the story for you.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart made a smart comment on Wednesday at SEC Media Days, planting his flag firmly in the ‘Pro’ argument for NIL. Doing so should help he and the Dawgs with recruiting — not that he needs it anyway.
Smart shared the story of Georgia Bulldogs offensive tackle Micah Morris, who sends his NIL money back home to his ill father.
“He’s able to send money back to his dad who is on dialysis. There’s countless stories like that. I would rival anybody in the country with 95 NIL deals coming off a National Championship and pretty gaudy number total that we’ve been able to give out. But I don’t think it’s about marketing that and selling that. It’s more about the depth of our deals than the total amount,” Smart said.
Georgia football: Kirby Smart on the right side of NIL argument
In terms of NIL, there really is only one argument at this juncture. While the ruling does open up any number of rabbit holes for college football — and will surely only make it more top-heavy — programs only have one choice, or else they’re behind the time. If a major college football program does not accept NIL, or makes it clear they are against it, why should top players choose to go to school there?
This is far from the era of player empowerment. Players are still not even paid an actual wage from the football program. NIL merely ensures they can make money off of themselves, separate from what they should earn on the field alone.
It really is the least schools like Georgia can do.