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).