One of the big talking points in college football this offseason has been the effect of name, image and likeness rules on the sport. In a recent interview on The Paul Finebaum ShowFlorida freshman head coach Billy Napier He was asked how he addresses the NIL disparities within the team.
“I mean, it’s our job,” Napier said. “You know, Paul, these conversations you’re talking about are the ones that are happening across the country right now. I mean, how do you keep your team dynamic? How do you create the unity, you know, the chemistry, the morale, the loyalty, you know, all those things in the game, the passion for the game, you know, there’s a certain brotherhood that comes with this game ? How do you keep these things, but know that in your locker room there may not be quite as fair as it should be? You know, and I think that’s what I’m struggling with right now. So, I mean, we’re really in an adjustment period here.
“And I think for me the key is, you know, we have to control what we can control within our organization and do the best we can for our players. We have to equip our players; we have to educate our players. You know, in a place like the University of Florida with the alumni network that we have, the passionate fan base that we have, the name and the image and the likeness is going to be a strength for us. agree with you on that you know how can we do that and not let it affect the dynamics of the team that i think football is the biggest game because of the number of people that are involved and contributing to the whole.
NIL policies were introduced by the NCAA last summer, allowing athletes to enjoy their likeness for the first time. Since then, countless athletes across the country have signed deals, some worth six figures, although the marketing obviously varies from player to player. The potential shortcomings on this front have some fearing the impact of player chemistry between those with significant NIL money to come and those with more limited opportunities.
Georgia head coach Smart Kirby was also recently with Finebaum and discussed how the NIL changes might deter some college football fans.
“I’ll just say this: I’m the first to advocate that players have the ability to earn money through name, image and likeness,” Smart said. “I think it’s great, I think it’s wonderful for college football. I have a lot of ex-teammates who would love to get some of that money back that they may have missed. But at the same time , we have to be smart about it. My first question is, is it sustainable, is it real, are people overpromising and are kids making decisions based on bad things? I don’t think definitely not that you should make a decision based solely on NIL money.
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“It may be a factor, but it shouldn’t be a critical factor in where you go to school. It should mean more to you to play for a coach, to play for a team. Playing for something that’s pretty much ZERO is going to lose its case and I think a lot of our fans are going to be put off by that. And that’s probably the scariest thing for me. I don’t want to lose the fanbase we have, which is our ultimate support.