Notre Dame AD calls NIL system ‘a mess’


Name, Image and Likeness rules have become a touchy issue in college sports.

Originally introduced to allow players to capitalize off the fame and value they create while in college, the intent of the program has often been violated. Some schools are using the rules as a way to entice players to sign with their school with de facto signing bonuses.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick is one of the people lamenting what’s happened with the NIL rules. He spoke about the subject Wednesday while conducting a YouTube livestream for Notre Dame.

“It’s a mess. We as college athletics have completely screwed this up. The intention, and we were the first university to speak out in favor of Name, Image and Likeness ideas, the intention was to put student-athletes in a position that every other student at Notre Dame enjoys. Which is, they can benefit from their Name, Image, Likeness and ideas,” Swarbrick said, via Football Scoop.

“What we never anticipated was that it would come online with no regulation and that it would come online coupled with the unlimited right to transfer. It’s created an untenable situation, frankly, that most of what’s going on has nothing to do with Name, Image and Likeness. They are not commercial transactions where I am rewarding you for something great you’ve built or the fact you’ve got 5 million followers on your social media Web site. They are talent-acquisition fees, where I’m paying you to come to our school.”

Swarbrick is not the first person to speak out against what’s become of the system. University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher were in a public spat after Saban accused Texas A&M of paying recruits to come play for them. Lane Kiffin has been railing against the system as well.

The NCAA is seemingly concerned about creating rules and regulations surrounding NIL because they fear an antitrust lawsuit. Schools are waiting for some rules and guidelines to be applied, but no one has yet to take any real initiative. If the NCAA is hesitant to act, then that leaves Congress to create federal rules, or conferences to create their own.

Changes are unlikely to take place any time soon.

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