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CFP championship coaches call for increased regulation on NIL

Alabama football coach Nick Saban and Georgia coach Kirby Smart both “called for increased regulation” on NIL deals for college athletes ahead of tonight's CFP title game in Indianapolis, according to Chris Low of ESPN.com. Without more regulation, Saban and Smart said that the same teams are going to “continue to dominate college football.” Smart: "You're going to have the haves and have nots, and the separation that is already there is going to grow larger. The schools that have the capacity and the ability and are more competitive in the NIL market are going to be schools that step ahead on top of other schools.” Saban said that the NIL rules “were a ‘positive thing for players’” and that their ability to earn money was not a "bad thing." But he is concerned about how the NIL rules are being used to “lure players to schools.” Saban reiterated that he is “not against players making money,” but also said that maybe there “should be an agreement” between both the school and player "as to what their commitment is to what they choose to do ... making commitments and fulfilling them" (ESPN.com, 1/9). Saban said, “We probably need some kind of national legislation to sort of control that to some degree, because I think there will be an imbalance relative to who can dominate college football if that’s not regulated in some form or fashion” (N.Y. POST, 1/10).

ON GUARD: FS1’s Ric Bucher said the “fearmongering is coming from those who see the NCAA and amateurism” as this “gilded thing that needs to be protected from capitalism and the idea that athletes are going to get paid.” But Bucher said he did not think NIL was “sustainable in terms of handing” out one-year, $1M contracts to players. Bucher: “The concern is that teams or programs are going to buy their way to having all of the talent" (“Speak For Yourself,” FS1, 1/7).

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While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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