Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss the NCAA’s attempts to police the new world of NIL and the transfer portal, and debate if there is anything that the NCAA can do at this point to tame the beast that they created through inaction.
DAN WETZEL: And it wouldn't be an offseason pod this year without discussing collectives, name, image, and likeness, transfer portal. There's now a lot of regret amongst the administrators. They had not somehow seen this coming, no matter how many federal lawsuits they lost, and how much this was obviously growing.
So we have-- here's a quote from Bob Bowlsby, still the Big 12 commissioner. "These collectives and booster groups, all of the people involved with them would be considered representatives of athletic departments. Our proposal included a provision--" this was a provision that was not adopted-- "that the school couldn't be involved in matchmaking the deals and putting student athletes on deals to avoid inducements on student enrollments and transfers. Seems to me we would have been infinitely better off had we've gone ahead and implemented the guardrails. At least we would have provided some guidance."
So they're going with the, we're going to try to stuff some of this toothpaste back in the tube because we didn't do our job before. Can they do it, Pat?
PAT FORDE: I don't know how. I mean, how exactly are they going to do this? I just, I think it's going to be really hard to enforce. It's going to be hard to, first of all, get people just to stop doing things the way they're doing. But then secondly, if they don't stop, how do you catch them and how do you enforce it? How do you penalize them?
I mean, we've seen decades of NCAA feebleness when it comes to trying to police its rules. And if they do what the transformation committee seems likely to do is just to basically tell every conference, make your own rules and come up with your own way of doing things.
Like, that isn't going to necessarily fix anything either, because the conferences don't want to be in the business of any enforcement. They want to be in the business of making money. They don't want to be in the business of having the commissioner being the bad guy saying, State U, we caught you cheating and you have to miss the Peach Bowl this year, or whatever. That's just not the way-- conferences got out of that game. They don't want to get back into it.
So if there's a way that they could possibly put up the guardrails and have them actually work, great. But I don't see how.
DAN WETZEL: You know, I would tread very carefully if I was this group. I don't like the guardrails. Again, it's completely one sided. All these complaints are just hysterical. I don't know how this holds up in court. I don't know how you'd ever enforce this.
Tennessee, the state of Tennessee, lawmakers updated the state's NIL laws-- it's an AP story-- allowing NIL group to talk directly with university officials, current and prospective student-athletes. And state leaders said this gives Tennessee universities a competitive advantage in comparison to other states. We have the state legislature getting involved in SEC recruiting, basically, saying, ha ha, Alabama.
PAT FORDE: Exactly.
DAN WETZEL: So the new law says that the collective can talk to the AD and the coaches and the players.
PAT FORDE: There you go.
DAN WETZEL: So can NCAA rules work with that? I don't know. I mean, NCAA is a voluntary organization to join. And obviously, no one's leaving the NCAA. And you can say, well, I hate the NCAA, kill the NCAA. Well, there's going to be something like the NCAA.
PAT FORDE: Right.
DAN WETZEL: I don't know how any of this would possibly work. How would you enforce this? OK, you have like, I run the collective at school X and I can't call up the top, I can't call Arch Manning up, say, hey, this is what I want to give you, but somebody else-- I mean, it's just, how are you policing this web of people?
PAT FORDE: I don't see how you possibly get your arms around this now. And so I don't know what they do. I really don't. I have no idea what the future is going to look like in this space.
DAN WETZEL: Let it run. That's what you do.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: They would never allow guardrails like this with themselves. Some of this stuff with the Jordan Addison and the tampering, you know, like what's tampering? Like anybody who has a job, right, let's say you're under contract throughout your career, or even if you're not under contract, you just have a job, invariably across your work career you talk to somebody at another company, and they say, hey, maybe, you ever be interested in coming over here? Or what's your plans for the future, right? That's just American adulthood.
PAT FORDE: Right.
DAN WETZEL: It could be teenager working. If you're working at McDonald's and the Burger King guy comes in and sees how good you're handling the register, they try to hire you to their register.