People may change, but the internet lives forever. And in June of 2014, Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney said one of the dumbest and most hypocritical things in sports history.
“We try to teach our guys, use football to create the opportunities, take advantage of the platform and the brand and the marketing you have available to you. But as far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that’s where you lose me. I’ll go do something else, because there’s enough entitlement in this world as it is.”
To make matters even worse, Swinney would go on to sign a 10-year, $92 million deal in April of 2019 to continue to coach those unpaid players he’d quit his job for if they ever got compensated.
It’s time to pack up your office, Dabo. Because name, image, and likeness is here, as college players — especially at Clemson — are about to get paid with Thursday being the first day that every college athlete can profit off NIL.
On Wednesday, the NCAA’s board of directors finally decided to stop being haters, as amateurism is finally dead.
“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”
Like Swinney, Emmert has been against this from day one. So don’t give them any credit for finally being on the right side of history, as reports are already coming in of players cashing out.
Twin sisters Hanna and Haley Cavinder play basketball for Fresno State and already have a deal with Boost Mobile. Quarterbacks like FSU’s McKenzie Milton and Miami’s D’Eriq King are co-founders of Dreamfield, an initiative that will book events for athletes and set up autograph signings, meet-and-greets, speaking engagements, and other revenue-generating opportunities. And Darren Rovell is reporting that LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne could pull in $1 million.
Back in 2018, former Wisconsin hoops star Nigel Hayes told me how he thought the NCAA could fix their player compensation issues, as he revealed that his 2016-2017 team almost boycotted an early-season matchup against Syracuse as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge that aired on ESPN over the topic.
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