Ed Orgeron supports NIL, tells LSU supporters to legally pay his players
You know football is close when SEC coaches start making the rounds at booster functions across the country.
The latest such meeting involved LSU’s coach, who spoke at the Baton Rouge Rotary Club on Wednesday. During his appearance at the event, Orgeron was asked about Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC, as well as how name, image and likeness will affect the Tigers.
Orgeron said he supported the NIL movement but says he cautions his players not to lose focus, as they stand to gain more over time provided they focus on their academics and athletics while in Baton Rouge.
“I think it’s good, I think it’s good for our players. I think as long as it’s handled in the right way,” Orgeron said. “I do believe there’s going to be some disappointment. I think they are going to realize what taxes are. They are going to realize they aren’t going to get paid as much as they think they are going to get paid.
“I just don’t want it to affect the locker room and here’s what I talked to our team about. I’m for it. But you came here to go to school, get an education and you came here to win football games. And the most important thing you can do is focus on school and football. If that can supplement you, fine. But if that becomes your sole purpose, you are heading in the wrong direction.”
Orgeron then used Joe Burrow as an example. It may be hard to believe now, but Burrow was projected to be a sixth-round draft choice entering his senior season at LSU. In fact, Burrow didn’t even have odds to win the Heisman Trophy heading into LSU’s 2019 season opener.
One incredible season later, which included winning the Heisman Trophy and leading the Tigers to the national title, and Burrow was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
LSU’s coach concluded his NIL thoughts with this gem.
“But if you want to pay our players, I got nothing against that. Legally [pay the players],” Orgeron concluded.