SDS Mailbag: Best ways to make NIL money, SEC coach under the most pressure and Kentucky hoops
The transfer portal truly has made college sports a year-round affair. Where July used to be a slow month for college football and basketball, there has been plenty of action this year.
Recruiting is still going strong for football, but there have been some big transfer announcements in the past few days, too.
And, in the college basketball world, we’re finally starting to get a clearer picture of what rosters will look like for the 2021-22 season now that the deadline to withdraw from the 2021 NBA Draft and retain college eligibility has passed.
For this week’s Mailbag, we’ll discuss 1 big college basketball transfer. We’ll also dive into more NIL stuff and talk about SEC coaches under pressure.
Here are your questions for this week’s Mailbag:
If you were an average SEC kicker, what would your strategy be to make as much NIL money as possible?
That’s a good question. First, I’d probably try to make a game-winning kick or 2. That would really boost the ol’ brand. But, if I didn’t get those opportunities, there are still ways of drawing attention to yourself.
I’d want to make a YouTube channel and be active on social media, posting videos of me making long kicks during practices, doing trick kicks and other cool things with the team’s punter and long snapper. There’s got to be at least some sort of market for a whole “special teams” bundle for advertisers.
I’d also want to do something fun with my hair. I could probably grow a pretty solid mullet. I’m not sure if that is unique enough these days, as the mullet is making a major comeback, but it’s all about standing out and being expressive.
You’d also have to interact with fans on social media, kind of like Virginia closer Stephen Schoch has done since his viral interview during this year’s NCAA Baseball Tournament. Schoch is no longer a college athlete, but if he were returning to the Cavaliers next year, I’m sure he’d have his fair share of NIL offers, including potentially from Dippin’ Dots.
What if an athlete just tweets out their Venmo user names after a big game or a game-winning play or something? I would for sure Venmo beer money to anyone on Mizzou who made a game-winning score of some sort.
I’m not a lawyer or an expert on these new NIL laws in any way, shape or form, so don’t take anything I say as the absolute truth. Is that going to stop me from giving my opinion on this matter, though? Heck no.
I believe many states have laws that say athletes can’t be given money tied to their performance on the field. I’m not sure how that will be policed in this era of Venmo and Cash App and other digital money services, but I don’t think players will be able to ask for money after having a big game or anything.
Now, that doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from having big games. Of course, as you perform better on the field, you get a bigger profile locally and nationally. That will draw more NIL deals your way as you become a bigger name and more influential.
So, there will be benefits for players who make amazing plays and have big games, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to accept money specifically because they helped their team win a game. But, again, I’m not sure how the NCAA would police that sort of thing.
Which SEC coach do you think is under the most pressure in 2021?
I’m already on the record as saying I don’t think this is a do-or-die season for Kirby Smart at Georgia. Yes, the pressure will be intense as the Bulldogs try to win the school’s first national championship since 1980.
But, it isn’t like Georgia is going to fire Smart if the Dawgs don’t make the Playoff or something. That’s silly to think.
Therefore, the coach under the most pressure this fall is, in my opinion, Dan Mullen at Florida. Like Smart, I don’t think he enters the 2021 campaign on the hot seat at all, but there are some things that could blow up on him if the Gators don’t live up to expectations.
Mullen has openly flirted with the NFL in recent years, which has rubbed some the wrong way, it seems. Then, he stuck with Todd Grantham at defensive coordinator this offseason, much to the chagrin of the entire Florida fan base.
And, despite winning the SEC East last season, the Gators ended the year with a 3-game losing streak. Plus, Georgia is probably the favorite to win the East at this point in the offseason.
My colleague, Connor O’Gara, wrote a piece detailing which 3 SEC coaches (other than Kirby Smart) he thinks are under the most pressure in 2021. Check that article out here.
If Kofi Cockburn transfers from Illinois to Kentucky, are the Wildcats the favorites to win the SEC next season?
Even without Cockburn, an All-Big Ten player from last season and a second-team All-American, the Wildcats are going to be a contender for the SEC title. They already have big man Oscar Tshiebwe in the mix, along with transfer PG Sahvir Wheeler from Georgia and transfer sharpshooter Kellan Grady from Davidson.
Add into that a bevy of returning players, including Dontaie Allen and Davion Mintz in the backcourt, and you have the makings of a team that can win a lot of games. Throw Cockburn into that mix and no one will enjoy playing the Wildcats in 2021-22.
But, the SEC is going to be deep this coming year. Alabama will continue to be good under Nate Oats. Ditto Arkansas under Eric Musselman. Tennessee has an intriguing team, with incoming 5-star PG Kennedy Chandler and Auburn transfer Justin Powell. Oh, and then there’s Auburn.
The Tigers are going to be one of the deepest teams in the conference, with North Carolina transfer Walker Kessler manning the post, Allen Flanigan and others returning to the team and incoming freshman Jabari Smith looking to make an immediate impact.
Kentucky might end up being the preseason favorite to win the SEC regular-season title, but this is going to be a fun year in SEC men’s hoops.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.