NIL changes not "Armaggedon" for college football

2021 Big 12 Football Media Days
Posted at 7:54 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 00:43:42-04

ARLINGTON, Texas — Nearly two weeks after the NCAA announced it would allow student-athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness, several Big 12 stars gathered at AT&T Stadium for Big 12 Media Days and discussed the impact of NIL legislation.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said some feared the new rules may bring on "Armaggedon" for college football, but through two weeks, they have seen little effect.

There have been some things that have occurred that have raised eyebrows," Bowlsby said. "But generally speaking, schools are managing it. There isn't the consistency that I might have liked, but it is pressing ahead."

When asked how they plan to regulate NIL deals, Bowlsby said the conference is limited in its reach and is currently operating based on state laws. Under antitrust rules, conferences cannot collaborate on how to most effectively regulate NIL deals.

"There's a limited amount that we can do in concert on a national basis, and we're still finding our way," he said.

Some are concerned NIL changes may impact parity in college football with big-money programs taking over and dominating schools with less economic reach.

"I think the level playing field has always been a bit of a mirage," Bowlsby said. "We try and do it through scholarship limits and coaching limits and contest limits and the like, but it's easier to recruit to some places than it is to others. It's easier to get transfers to some places than it is to others."

TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson said he believes the new rules could have the opposite effect and create more parity.

"I think it evened the playing field," he said. "I think it gave everybody an opportunity."

Kansas State Head Coach Chris Klieman said NIL could give the Wildcats a major advantage, given that they are the only show in town in Manhattan, Kansas.

Student-athletes across the Big 12 have already taken advantage of NIL deals. Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler signed a deal with Raising Canes.

Iowa State running back Breece Hall, a potential Heisman candidate, said he has not let NIL deals distract him from the Cyclones goal of a Big 12 title. So far, he has reached deals with CAMEO and a mouthpiece company but does not plan to actively pursue many more deals during the season.

That sentiment was echoed by other players like TCU quarterback Max Duggan and Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson.