Georgia Football: Changing the toxic NIL system is an urgent need

Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) celebrates with the trophy after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship. Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) celebrates with the trophy after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship. Syndication: The Indianapolis Star /

Thankfully, Georgia football was not part of the silly cat fight between Alabama and Texas A&M, but it raised some questions about the NIL situation.

This topic is sensitive, so before I lose everyone, this article isn’t stating that players shouldn’t get paid because they should.

However, the NIL system is highly flawed right now, and it needs a lot of tweaking to make it fair across the board truly.

Georgia isn’t necessarily seeing a negative impact from the NIL stuff yet. Still, with schools like Texas A&M and other SEC initiatives seeing larger numbers, it impacts the Dawgs.

Plus, the allegations that Alabama head coach Nick Saban made against Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher bring up other issues with the NIL that maybe people don’t fully understand.

Georgia football isn’t the only school that would benefit from regulating the NIL system.

The NIL system allows players to make money by selling their name, image, and likeness rights, while also protecting them.

If only Todd Gurley and AJ Green were around for this, then lord knows how those years would have gone for Georgia.

Anyway, the current system has it on a state-by-state level, meaning the NIL activities have to be consistent with the law of the state their school is located.

Colleges and universities have to make sure it’s within the state law to avoid any issues.

However, each state is different, so the issue is so important to address now. There needs to be a standard rule across all 50 states so one state cannot spend millions of dollars while another can only spend a few thousand.

Schools cannot compete with the money from states like California and Texas. Even in Alabama when Bryce Young already has $1 million in NIL endorsements. There is just too much movement.

So regardless if Fisher “paid players” or not, that isn’t the point. The point is to make it fair across the board because the numbers don’t lie, and seeing Texas A&M suddenly bring the best class in recruiting history rings a bell and raises some red flags.

While Georgia and Alabama have controlled recruiting in the last six years, how people act about this seems childish. Texas A&M offered NIL deals, and it is scary because Saban and Smart recruit on an old-school level.

Smart adapts and the Dawgs have a solid NIL initiative, but at the same time, they aren’t offering those six-figure ones. Even Dion Sanders at Jackson State is under some scrutiny for getting Travis Hunter and allegedly having him sign a million-dollar NIL deal. Reports surfaced stating that it isn’t true, so there are a lot of rumors without a lot of substance.

Regardless of 5-star or no-star status, a player should be able to go wherever they want, and if a NIL deal is involved for them to make like better for their family — good for them.

However, it does need to be regulated so that this constant he-said-she-said stuff can be silenced. If every school has the same opportunities to land players, it shouldn’t matter.

It’s silly that Saban felt that threatened to call out Fisher, but at the same time, it needed to happen because maybe regulating this stuff can begin to occur.

Georgia would benefit from this because Smart recruits to put kids in the NFL, and the NIL deals come once they’re enrolled. That NIL initiative is the smartest way because they genuinely want to go to Georgia, not just for the NIL money.

However, I’m not saying it’s not okay for a player to choose a school offering it right away because it boils down to whatever is best for the kid and not the fanbase.

That isn’t the case across the board, but we also don’t know the home life of most of these recruits, so that alone should be enough to stop judging these kids for going places because of NIL deals.

Tennessee signed a massive recruit, and rumors speculate he has a six-figure NIL deal coming his way — who cares if that is what the player needs. These kids need to learn quickly about money and what that kind of money can do for them. Suppose they can learn to manage it, then good for them, especially if they’re an NFL-caliber player.

The NIL systems can be an excellent tool for college football and these players. They are privileged, get to go to school for free, and have a lot more perks, but at the same time, they need their own money.

Bag-men and those recruiting days are over — and even Georgia had a bag man. All significant schools did. Some were just smarter than others in how they allegedly paid kids.

Now they can do it legally, but there is still a lot of sketchiness going on, and that is where regulating it would be the best thing to do.

Before these NIL deals get out of hand, regulation can help them keep it in check while ensuring these players still earn money. Fans buy jerseys, want autographs, and everything else, let those players make that money, but at the same time, if we’re offering million-dollar deals, then ensure those kids know how to manage that money and can learn to handle it responsibly.

This NIL system can be incredible if done right, and after the cat fight between Saban and Fisher, it’s apparent change needs to happen.

Next. Georgia football: The best thing Kirby Smart can do is remain silent. dark

Georgia football and the rest of college football will only benefit from regulating and finding a good set of rules through these NIL initiatives. Players should get paid for their NILs, but educating them is also crucial.

Regulating isn’t wrong if it gets done correctly, and right now is the time to find out that perfect mixture before this new college football world gets dumped on its head.