IMPROVED Oregon Teams Due to UNINTENDED NIL Consequences?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials 28 Comments

Trust me, the title is not “Bait-and-Switch,” and you will need to hear me out on this. First of all, we have not done a single “bait-and-switch” type title in nine years; in the early days of the site I did not know better and made that mistake. Now, all our titles tell Google what the article is about and hopefully provide reasons for readers to click. Then our writers have to back up the claim in the title within the article, and we have now for nine years and thousands of articles.

I really believe that with all the negative, unintended consequences likely to result from NIL legislation (athletes making money off their Name, Image and Likeness), there is one potential positive consequence that emerged in my pondering, and I wanted to see if this astute community sees it the same way. (Make no mistake; I know I ponder this stuff way-too-much and have for a couple of decades, so I am not stopping now!)

We have heard of football and basketball players complaining about the extreme difficulties of school, training and then having to work on the side to pay the additional bills that a scholarship does not cover. Would the NIL funding that might come to them be enough to pay those extra expenses (like more food!) and keep them on campus an extra year? Sometimes it is hundreds they need, not millions, in order to maintain focus on training and studies.

Oregon Basketball Twitter

Kenny Wooten could have used another year of seasoning…

We all know of many players who left Oregon for the NFL or NBA too soon, and, with an additional year, players who could have met a big payday due to improved skills acquired in that extra year. That list is long in both football and mens’ basketball and has been a source of frustration for Duck fans. You are just getting to know a good but not great player, and then he’s gone. (Can you provide examples in the comments, as that would be interesting in itself?)

What about the opposite? How many great teams has Oregon fielded where a key player returned who did not have to? The results were a better payday to the player a year later and a better team on the field or court. What if NIL produced a ton of those players? How much different would it be for the basketball team to have those good but not great players return?  Would it slow down the transfer parade? How would that change recruiting for Dana Altman?

Oregon T&F Twitter

Freshman Micah Williams could be tempted to a pro contract soon with only a partial scholarship…

The possibility of even modest NIL revenue could actually have a bigger impact in the non-revenue sports! Baseball and Track & Field only give partial scholarships, and the emerging stars turn pro as soon as they can. Who can blame them? But now if a good but not great pitcher sticks around an extra year, develops his skills (like Robert Ahlstrom did) through a little NIL funding to make it happen, Coach Waz ends up with a better team of Our Beloved Ducks.

The end result could be more for the players in terms of additional skills in the extra year, a better team for the coaches and much more enjoyable entertainment for Oregon fans of all sports. Plausible?

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Tom Corno

Phil Anderson, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.

 

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MaiTaiDuck

Honestly I’ve always thought your getting 4 years of a College education for free to play Tackle Football. Get over it. Then I realize we are living in a different era of spoiled, disrespectful, lazy, arrogant and the list goes on. I sometimes have to readjust my thought process so I honestly really don’t care what these guys do after College. None of my business so when it comes to my beloved Ducks it’s different.

So if this helps bring even better players to Oregon’s roster and I believe it will, then by all means its about a CHAMPIONSHIP and nothing else. I want to be able to say to people someday hey were NATTY winners now and more on the way. Hey you gray haired one’s on here and I know there’s a lot of you that feel the same way.

I am ready right now for this to happen so Slade obviously is something is up in his family so like a young Man that says family first then I get it because that’s just how it is. In life GOD first family second and if you do the first with conviction the second one is always stronger. I just want to say as far as like BOL, Wooten, and you know the rest they should be getting talked to by our coach’s.

That’s on them and who on here can say you thought in your mind or opinion that Kenny was even remotely close to playing in the NBA? Obviously these guys have people in their ear hole telling them things they shouldn’t be telling them so to some regards it’s like these people are only looking out for them and what they can get out of this player. Its sad but that’s the system we live in now.

I’m just hoping we get this done soon or will it ever happen. So to me this absolutely going forward should help Oregon to bring in even better players especially on the D Line and help to keep players here to even back up your best players. I mean some of these players need to realize if you got beast out by a guy that’s just better than you, then transferring out doesn’t guarantee you to the next level.

Santa Rosa Duck

My cup is half empty on NIL. I can see some universities gaming the system to max out payments and help recruiting. How far is it from NIL to simply paying additional stipends under the table?

Is there a possible animosity created by those getting NIL money and the majority who will not?

How is the NCAA ever going to police this?

ICamel

I suspect the NIL is going to break much the same as the percentage of players that go on to play pro.

A small percentage of players will profit from their name, image, and likeness at the collegiate level.

Most players will see very little.

Jon Joseph

Great ponder point. Thanks Charles.

So hard to know how this will go?

The $ could be significant; especially, for CFB and CBB stars. But will it come close to what the CFB + CBB players can make as pro athletes? Enough to convince them to stay in school?

NIL and recruiting? There will be some hanky-panky here, no doubt. But as a business person who do you want repping you? A 5* who has not set foot on the field or a successful, veteran player?

Drake

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

There will probably be both good and bad consequences that NIL money creates that are not fully clear to us right now. I am hopeful that there are more situations that prove to be positive over the long run.

There are definitely athletes in college who are not great students. I would be more interested in seeing NIL money help more athletes to become better students, than help the small percentage that move on to a successful professional career in sports.

I am unclear of the dollar amounts that are possible with NIL money. There definitely should be some responsibility on all Universities involved to provide guidance in the handling of these monies.

Jon Joseph

Great comment. The NIL $ belongs to the individual earning same.

Some will understand that ‘a penny saved is a penny earned.’ While others, of course, will not.

I was hoping that the various state’s NIL legislation and the NCAA rules, if the NCAA ever gets around to it, would have required that a percentage of the earnings be placed in trust. Likely won’t happen.

Pro athlete spendthrifts have lost millions and millions of dollars. I do hope Oregon and other schools will provide financial counseling to the young people bringing in this new found money.

Haywarduck

Great point Drake, I too hope the University’s can help these young student athlete’s deal with this new rule. One thing for sure, the NCAA has blown just about everything so far, and can’t be trusted, or counted on to do the right thing.

DanLduck

I was in favor of a stipend for all athletes on scholarship so that all would benefit. I too fear that precious few will see $ or that the school and businesses won’t use any players #.

ptdduck

It’s a very valid point. Not hard to imagine kids staying in school longer because they don’t have the financial pressures to leave. I wonder if we’ll ever get to the point where pro teams are sponsoring college athletes.

Jon Joseph

I think this is inevitable sometime in the future. There will be a Super League, 32 to 40 schools with the ‘college teams’ serving as a farm team for the pros.

I expect to see a high school draft for guy’s who want to be paid, pay for play with player’s joining the NFL union and receiving bargained-for pay.

No restriction on time spent with the coaches. Perhaps even a major in football if the school’s want to maintain an academic connection?

As Charles notes, I think this would be Triple A ball with player’s allowed to move up and down.

In other words, kind of like the SEC is today?

PittDuck

Excellent ponder point Charles, thanks for bringing it up! I could see how the NIL could help those schools like Oregon, who do the extra mile to support their student athletes.

Things like classes designed to teach student athletes how to market and improve themselves, https://goducks.com/sports/2009/1/6/3641187.aspx

The Jaqua Center, to provide academic services for student athletes. The Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center and the overall commitment by the University to utilize the most state of the art technology and emphasize their commitment to the wellness, health and safety to their student athletes.

Throw in the magnificent facilities such as Autzen Stadium, PK Park, Jane Sanders Stadium, MK Arena, and the crown jewel that is the new Heyward Field, and it is hard to find a comparable student athlete experience.

Not only do these massive investments into student athletes help with recruiting, the will continue helping with retention.

I think the U of O is in a pretty good position for the NIL era to be ushered in. Go Ducks!

ptdduck

I’m glad you brought up grades, Charles. That should be the primary focus of the NCAA. The transfer portal is fine as long as athletes are in good academic standing. If they’re not then they should have to sit out a year. Revenue sports generally have lower graduation rates than non-revenue sports. What would happen if teams weren’t eligible for the postseason if they didn’t meet some sort of academic threshold? Putting the student back in student-athlete would do wonders for college sports.

Jon Joseph

Being in good academic standing is a requirement for the 1 time ‘free transfer.’ Not so for the portal in general.

ptdduck

I didn’t realize that, that’s great to hear. Now, if we could hold coaches to that threshold for their teams. Graduation rates should be part of the postseason equation.

jrw

I am seriously curious as to why the prospect of NIL revenue going to players is regarded so negatively.

I have to admit, I have not given the idea hours of thought, but my first, and my second, reaction is that the players deserve it.

Certainly, they deserve the money more than do the NCAA administrators, bowl committee fat cats, and the others who profit off college athletes.

Yes, it will be a change from long-standing practices, but my guess is that the world of college athletics will adjust to it.

I would really like to hear why I’m wrong.

DanLduck

Of all the sports, football to me is the most “team” of all the team sports (maybe baseball). A guy scores a touchdown cuz 4 or 7 others blocked for him.
In practice, starters are pushed by backups. Backups are pushed by walk-ons.

But which players will get the opportunities, qb, rb, a few known names.
How is that conducive to team morale.

I also think that keeping shadow boosters in line before NIL was difficult, now could be impossible!

That said, this ponder point is a good one Fishduck. I think the NIL will help non revenue sports more than the others, though it’s my understanding that full ride scholarship kids can’t have a job at school.

Spending $$ for pizza and girls, gas etc. can be tough for some…so maybe this could help those.
I just fear the end of college sports as I’ve known it. Because of politics and wokeness I sometimes struggle watching the pro sports.
What I love so much about our Ducks is that when I wear green and yellow, no matter where in the world I am I meet new friends. People come up to me and throw an O, or say “Go Ducks”.
College sports is something that unites people, I want to keep it that way.
And $$ seems to ruin so many things.

Well, it’s here to stay, so I hope Oregon becomes masters of this new thing and uses it wisely to continue bringing in stud athletes and quality individuals.
Go Ducks!

MaiTaiDuck

I think it will only help Oregon more in recruiting. Every sport at Oregon should benefit from getting xtra goodies. In the who left early, well you could name quite a few. BOL BOL and the Forward I can’t remember his name and Wooten most definitely had some money greedy person in their ear telling them things that sounded great. Well as we know didn’t work out for any of them.

Jon Joseph

Great point. But will NIL income come close to the #’s being whispered into kid’s ears?

Haywarduck

I think we can only ponder the consequences. It may keep kids around or give the illusion to more kids of the money available elsewhere, and the desire to move on.

The biggest downfall of this legislation, IMHO is the move away from the focus on the student. These student athletes give us all great joy, but in the end they should learn from the student and athlete element of their scholarship, and this just might take away from both.

First I agree the student athlete should be able to more than survive. In the past the NCAA didn’t even want our athlete’s to even get three square meals. This led to many hardships, especially those who don’t have parents who could supplement the scholarship. An NCAA D1 scholarship should provide more than enough for our athletes to survive and to a degree thrive.

What the NCAA should have done is to enhance the academic opportunities for the student athlete’s. Putting more focus on the academic opportunities could have benefited all. Give each student who sticks around for 4 years, 6 years to finish their degree. On top of that, 3 more years to get a masters degree.

Instead we are left with money grabbing opportunities for the elite, and undoubtedly some of the less than elite. This may lead more to think they can make money off sports. What ever happens going forward I hope we see a drive to keep the student athlete at school learning from the academic side. This can happen at the same time the student athlete lives out their dream of becoming all they can be athletically. This for most, is being part of a great team of athlete’s, competing at the collegiate level, while learning how to be an important part of our civil society.

For the master degree there would only be the tuition paid for so the 30% increase, I think, is off. Universities could take on this expense, and the student athletes deserve it. The cost of tuition can be very minimal, the value, on the other hand, priceless.

Agree a scholarship, as a student athlete would be too expensive. It is time for the student part of student athlete to become a priority for the NCAA and the Universities who benefit from their effort and risks they take. It would take leadership by the NCAA and forward thinking so I am not holding my breath.