Brian Kelly doesn’t expect NCAA action on NIL, points to conferences getting more involved

NIL remains one of college football’s hottest topics. During the bowl season, multiple college football coaches made allegations of NIL-related tampering with the transfer portal. NIL deals also factor heavily into many recruiting decisions, despite pay-for-play concerns.

On Sunday, LSU coach Brian Kelly was asked to weigh in on NIL issues. Kelly doesn’t expect to see more enforcement actions from the NCAA.

“Well, I don’t expect it to happen,” Kelly said of NCAA disciplinary action on NIL. “Look, there’s no uniformity, right. I think we all know that. Each state has a different law relative to enacting NIL.

“Look, we love the concept as coaches. Everybody loves the concept of players being able to benefit from their name, image and likeness. It is the unintended consequences of it, and that is inducements prior to being on campus through recruiting; unfulfilled promises.”

Kelly continued, calling out misinformation on issues like compensation being labeled pay-for-play. Rather than the NCAA, Kelly thinks conferences may get more involved on NIL matters.

“I think we have to be in it a little longer in this cycle for it to kind of take a better shape, because I think there is a lot of misinformation out there,” Kelly said to media members ahead of the Citrus Bowl. “I think players are led to believe that they are going to get X and it is really not X. They have to perform services for X. You are hearing in the recruiting wars that guys are getting X for — this is not pay-for-play, and you are hearing stories like that.

“We are going to have to see how this works itself out, but we are not looking that the NCAA is going to step in at any time here. We are going to have to continue to manage this, and I think what you will see is the conferences beginning to take more action on NIL as well.”

Before getting back to talent acquisition for 2023, Kelly and the Tigers will end the 2022 campaign by facing Purdue in the Citrus Bowl Monday (1 p.m. ET, ABC).

View Comments

  • No one is getting involved, not even the conferences. The SEC would never do anything to put themselves at a competitive disadvantage. It’s the NCAA or nothing, so nothing.

  • If the NCAA will not get involved because all the states have different laws, then how are the conferences going to do it since their teams are spread across the country in different states?

  • The train has left the station for the NCAA. Anything they try to do at this point will be looked upon as infringing on their right to make money. I see it taking the NFL model where the schools are the owners of the teams and the players will probably have to unionize. The problem here is the NIL deals are coming from outside sources (business or collective) and aren’t under the direct control of the schools.

  • This proverbial horse has been beaten to a pulp and back again and it’s really getting tiresome at this point. So long as the athletes remain classified as ‘student-athletes’, there is nothing anyone can do, period! The minute the NCAA, conferences, or individual institutions attempt to control or limit the players ability to benefit financially from NIL, the flood of lawsuits that follow will be biblical.
    The only solution to this dilemma is to make the students employees of the universities, removing any and all academic restrictions. And I say DO IT! Make them employees and if they choose to pursue a degree from said university, make them pay out of pocket for it.

    • Horrible idea. If they’re not students, then the university name has no business being involved.

      • I think the universities are being dragged into it, kicking and screaming. They're going to have to adopt a model, probably the NFL model, to compensate the players. They can't afford to abandon their football programs to some semi-pro league. They are too dependent on the income. They have to do it themselves. Hire a few NFL lawyers, and let them iron it out.

        • The problem is the only way the universities can even begin to implement any compensation model is the student athletes would have to be classified as employees of the university or any attempt to control or regulate earning potential would be met with a flood of lawsuits because that would give the athletes grounds for legal recourse for restraint of trade.

        • Yes, of course. The players would be employees of the universities. The universities would break away from the NCAA and form their own governing body with an NFL-type model that will include everything from player compensation to licensing and NIL.

      • The university name already has no business being involved in NIL, but we all know it is just like we all knew pay for play has been going on forever. How would it diminish CFB? How would it diminish the loyalty of the average fan to their alma mater? The damage has already been done and the universities, or their names, have no meaning to athletes anymore. They are all for sale to the highest bidder.

        Basically, you’re missing my point. If we are going to continue to cry about the lack of regulation behind NIL, yet do nothing practical/legal to address the issues surrounding it, then everyone needs to just S T F U and accept the unregulated free agency that comes with it, period.

        • The universities started down this path way back when. The lure of big TV contracts was too much to ignore. Now they have made their bed, they have to lie in it. Really, it was inevitable. College football just naturally became big business.

Published by
Andrew Olson