An overwhelming majority of athletic directors surveyed by a professional group expressed concern that college sports teams use name, image and likeness (NIL) payments as improper recruiting incentives, both for high school prospects and transfer players.
Ninety percent of DAs surveyed described themselves as concerned about the issue, and 73 percent of respondents said they were “extremely concerned,” according to a new survey by LEAD1, a group representing interests of the Football Bowl Subdivision athletic directors. The survey, released Wednesday, included comments from about 80 of the nation’s 130 FBS athletic directors.
Most DAs surveyed (77 percent) believe that a NIL The market will lead to more scandals, and 87 percent of those surveyed said they disagree with NIL payments tied to an athlete only being registered on a team. Seventy-two percent said zero payments should be tied to market value.
Issues surrounding NIL collectives — school-specific associations of promoters that pool resources to offer payments to recruits and/or current players — have been a hot topic among college sports administrators for months. In mid-February, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors asked the Division I Council to review the NIL policyhighlighting recruitment rules prohibiting direct participation from boosters.
The Council’s NIL subcommittee has been working on developing guidelines to reaffirm existing rules among members, a source confirmed to Athleticism Tuesday. The guidelines reiterate that boosters are defined by the NCAA as “representatives of the athletic interests of the institution” and are not permitted to contact and/or offer benefits to prospective athletes or their families.
During the first 10 months of the NIL era, no one was penalized for such a violation, raising serious questions about whether enforcing NIL-related rules would open the NCAA to future lawsuits. The NCAA has been reluctant to add (or enforce) restrictions on athletes’ ability to receive compensation since the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 against the NCAA in the Alston case last summer, barring the NCAA from cap education-related pay. Tennessee recently revised its NIL law to expressly prohibit restrictions on recruitment incentives.
(Photo: Rick Osentoski / USA Today)
For Pac-12 coaches and administrators, NIL means “now it’s legal”
What else is in the investigation?
Nicole Auerbach, national college football writer: The LEAD1 survey also showed strong support (87%) for implementation specific calendar windows for athletes to enter or withdraw from the transfer portal. The topic has also garnered support from college football coaches, who are pushing for transfer windows to make roster management easier.
On other hot topics, 67 percent of ADs think there should be fewer institutions at the NCAA Division I level, and 61 percent said NCAA Tournament units should be distributed for performances in the women’s basketball tournament (as is the case for the men’s tournament). which also has a very different financial structure.