The NIL format has changed college sports


Henry Anyimadu '23

Deion Sanders runs out of a simulated portal into his new school, the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Andrew Farrar, Staff Writer

The Transfer Portal and Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals for college students have changed the landscape for college sports forever. In July of 2021the NCAA approved NIL deals, allowing students to profit from their own image, name, and likeness. And this year in August, the NCAA changed the rules regarding the transfer portal. Now the NCAA presents athletes with two, 45-day windows to transfer. If they transfer within these periods, they do not have to sit out a year. This makes it a very popular opinion with disgruntled college players, or stars wanting to move to bigger colleges.

For years, college players have been considered kids. The fact is, they should not be. For a long time now college sports have been getting crazy amounts of views and more and more followers. College sports stars have become mainstream stars. Names like Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow, and Reggie Bush got an immense amount of popularity when they played, but because of NCAA rules, they couldn’t profit from it. No brand deals, jersey sales, or sponsorships. A notable case is Reggie Bush in 2005 when his Heisman award got taken away when he accepted cash and gifts from a marketing agency.

Now it’s 2022 and rules have changed even more (and Reggie Bush still hasn’t got his Heisman returned). NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders signed a contract to coach for the University of Colorado Buffaloes. His first press conference took the world by storm. He walked in on his first day and told the existing team that they were being replaced and that they should look into the transfer portal. After playing in the NFL, Deion made a name for himself coaching at Jackson State and building a very impressive team. He walked in and told Colorado that his [Jackson State] players were coming in, and their spots were not safe. Now with these rule changes, college sports, and specifically college football, is becoming more like the NFL, a business.

I think this is the best-case scenario for the college world. For a long time, college sports have been mainstream and arguably more mainstream than some professional sports. Students were punished for the decision they made as freshmen, and decided they didn’t like it anymore. College sports are becoming a business, with money involved and being able to choose who you play for. For most players, the dream is to play professionally, and these rule changes are just taking extra steps to prepare these players for when they get to the next level.