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Nebraska AD, Pac-12 commish concerned about future of NIL

Nebraska AD Trev Alberts is concerned about schools moving away from their academic missionGETTY IMAGES

Some states are passing laws that would allow for schools to "directly broker NIL deals for athletes or even use their own resources to pay athletes for NIL activities," according to Parker Gabriel of the LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR. Nebraska AD Trev Alberts, who noted schools could end up involved directly, said, "Which, where we’re going then is, now we’re paying players sooner than you think." Alberts added, "For the longest time, especially schools in the Big Ten have been very focused on (the idea that) athletics are always going to be tied to the academic mission. So we’re running headlong into this conundrum of entertainment or the collegiate model. The challenge for all of us is that these changes are going to happen regardless of what our opinion is, what our preference would be. We’ll have to find a strategy." Alberts: "If today we get $100 and $15 of those dollars are going to student-athletes directly ... there will be a day, nobody is disputing this in any call I’ve ever been on, where let’s say $45 of that $100 are going to student-athletes" (LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR, 1/22).

LEGALIZED CHEATING? On the SEC Network's Paul Finebaum Show, Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff said of the rapidly evolving NIL space, "No one is enforcing what everybody agrees should be the rule, which is kids can use NIL, but not for inducement or pay-for-play. Everyone is in agreement about that, or at least they say the right thing about that, but not one is enforcing it." Kliavkoff added, "What you have now is like legalized cheating that's going on, and we have to fix that. Best case scenario is federal law from Congress to address it, but I'm not terribly optimistic we get there before the mid-term elections." Univ. of Miami football coach Mario Cristobal said was “still trying to figure” out how to navigate the new NIL rules, as the "opportunities are very abundant and growing quickly." Cristobal: "For us, it ends up being a competitive advantage. At the same time, I think there’s a lot of unknown … (and) too little of a sample size to judge or to make a true assessment as to what it's doing and where it's going” (“The Paul Finebaum Show,” SEC Network, 1/21).

MEET ME AT THE TOP: SI.com's Ross Dellenger reported college sports this June will "feature its first NIL summit," geared to "educate and award athletes in this new era." The NIL Summit, hosted by Student Athlete NIL (SANIL) and sponsored by NIL platform INFLCR, is scheduled for June 13-15 at the College Football HOF in Atlanta, offering a "platform for athletes to learn about maximizing their NIL opportunities and network with those within the industry." From NIL workshops to panel discussions, athletes, major brand representatives and even school administrators will converge on Atlanta in an effort to "explore an issue that has burst onto the college sports landscape." SANIL co-Founder & CEO Jason Belzer expects "more than 400 athletes" to attend the event (SI.com, 1/23).

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