Texas signs NIL Bill
Arguably the biggest controversy in the college sports world is currently whether or not college athletes should be given the opportunity to profit off their ‘name image and likeness’ (NIL). This would mean that players would be able to partner with brands such as Nike and Adidas and make money off their campaigns. This is just a small example of the endless amount of opportunities that college athletes could take advantage of.
In my personal opinion, signing the NIL would immensely benefit college sports. NCAA athletes dedicate their college years to their craft. While this is obviously voluntary and a prestigious accomplishment, this should not prevent athletes from making money. Long term, this could also spark more competition among athletes as it’s not only just about getting your team to championships, now it’s about being the athlete Nike wants in their magazines, or who Gatorade wants in their next commercial.
However, it is important to acknowledge that the NIL Bill would remove the sense of innocence that college sports have. College-level athletes are the only group that doesn’t play for money. Their sports are played based on hopes of taking it to the next level, and also pure passion. Adding the aspect of cash into the field would shift motivations, but this could be a necessary advancement athlete’s need to feel better represented.
Another argument against the bill is the fact that college athletes are already given a monetary award by receiving a scholarship. For football players this argument provides more weight, the boys are on full rides to their university. However, what if TCU were to say that any student who receives the Chancellor’s scholarship, can’t hold a job while in college. Taking the argument to a different light shows that using an athlete's scholarship against them in that sense is an invalid point. Both college athletes and high achieving academic students are successful in their own ways, why should one have more restrictions than the other? As for sports like baseball, the boys don’t receive full-ride scholarships. So that would be equivalent to telling any student at TCU that received a grade-based scholarship, even just covering a partial cost, that they too shouldn’t make money while in college.
With all of this being said, Governor Abbott has signed the NIL bill into law, and it will take effect on July 1st. The law was not signed without restrictions, like athletes being unable to endorse alcohol and tobacco companies. Athletes will also be required to take a financial literacy workshop in college. I think these restrictions to the bill show the public as well as colleges that Texas Legislators debated and carefully crafted a bill they hope to satisfy everyone with.
This law will surely change the way recruiting is pitched in the state of Texas. I would predict that this would be a leading factor in drawing in high-profile out-of-state recruits. Potentially, this could make recruiting in Texas more competitive than it already is.