LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For college football coaches, helping players to manage time and distractions has always been part of the job. This fall, there’s a new potential distraction on the horizon.
For the first time, players may be paid for their name, image and likeness, and with that comes another layer of potential preoccupation as players field inquiries about opportunities and accept engagements, perhaps, as part of those.
Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield, like everyone else in college football, is trying to anticipate those new challenges and trying to help his players do the same. Most schools are putting policies into effect that limit players from accepting any kind of endorsement or appearance arrangement that infringes on team time. Still, it’s a brand new playing field for everybody.
Amid all the change, Satterfield said one thing is the same. To get the reward, you have to produce. Satterfield is hoping that provides motivation for his players.
“We've talked to our guys about that,” he told reporters Monday. “You know you're going to have the most opportunity when you go out and play well. If you put a good product on the field and you're a good ambassador in the community and you do a lot of great things, well those are the type of people that companies want to partner up with. I think our guys realize that, 'If I can go out and make plays and do a good job in the community, then I'm going to have more opportunities.' So our guys are focused on going out and performing at a high level and playing very, very well to know what can come of that. Just because you put something out on a social media platform, 'Hey, I'm available, come get me!' That's not the way it works. You're going to have to have a good product and go out and play well, you know, in order to have good earning potential.”
NIL changes everything, including recruiting — and maybe especially recruiting. Louisville is now recruiting in an Atlantic Coast Conference landscape in which a Miami booster’s gym company has offered $600 per month per player to the entire Miami football team.
Per NCAA rule, schools can’t be involved in putting together those deals, nor can it necessarily use them on the recruiting trail, though it’s hard to imagine them not being asked by recruits about the NIL possibilities at a given school.
“Yeah, you know, we're not really supposed to use NIL for recruiting purposes,” Satterfield said, and then he chuckled before continuing. "Although we know those questions are going to come up. I think what we'll end up doing is you’re just going to have to base it off what your guys are doing at this point. And really, once we get into this thing six months, a year, we'll have a better idea of how it's going to work and really the opportunities that guys are going to have. We know we're in a great city here, and there should be a lot of opportunities for our guys with the amount of businesses that we have here. It'll be very interesting to see how we maneuver through this. But really, to answer the question, it's really more about, ‘We have a plan. Here's what we're going to do for you guys. We're using another company to help with some of this.’ They'll be able to see their earning potential, and a lot of it is based on their social media presence for these young people. But we're in kind of a learning mode ourselves with this, to see exactly how much and when and where these guys will be able to make any money.”
Satterfield said he was in favor of players getting the right to profit from their likeness. He spoke out in support of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s decision to issue an executive order setting guidelines for the state and opening the possibility of athletes earning money.
He said the actual business side of things should not affect the job of coaches all that much. But the rest of it -- being vigilant to make sure players are doing the right things, will be everyone’s job.
“Really, for us, it's all about the compliance piece of it, not doing anything that wound hinder them from playing,” he said. “This is all new territory for everybody across the country, including our compliance department and everybody's. So I think for us, it's making sure our guys are being safe with the decisions that they're going to be making concerning NIL and going through our compliance. This is something that is brand new, and we're all kind of learning it and maneuvering it as we go. I do think it's a good thing for these guys to be able to have an opportunity to be able to make some extra money on their likeness. But again, the biggest thing for us is not doing anything, No. 1, that would hinder them from playing. And No. 2 not doing anything that they could get swindled out of any kind of money. I just worry about that, because you don't know if somebody approaches you and you don't know who it is, and all of a sudden you're giving out a social security number or a bank number. So we're just trying to have a lot of precautions with it and be smart with it.”
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