Regardless of where you stand when it comes to collegiate athletes making money, I think everyone can agree the NIL stuff has begun to go off the rails a little bit. Just this week, we've seen a Miami basketball player threaten to transfer if he didn't get more money and now a Biletnikoff Trophy winner enter the transfer portal two days before the deadline to probably go to USC on a "massive" definitely-not-pay-for-play NIL deal.
Jordan Addison did it all for Pittsburgh as Kenny Picket's No. 1 target last year, hauling in 100 receptions for more than 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns. He's a monster. So — presumably and allegedly — Lincoln Riley made a call and had Addison pack his bags for Los Angeles with an NIL contract already conveniently drafted up!
There are plenty of people who are going to be very upset with this if it does end up coming to fruition. It sets a precedent that teams like Pitt will always lose their star players to the big boys who can call up billionaire donors to write blank checks.
But as I said to my good friend Brandon Walker, this is how every industry in America works. People working normal jobs want to maximize their worth and work at the best companies. If a college football player has made himself valuable enough that he can go maximize his earning potential at a brand-name school — no offense to the University of Pittsburgh — I don't see why that's any different than a lawyer leaving a small practice to go work at one of the best firms.
It's going to be a radically different landscape, sure. But this is capitalism, baby. Go get that bag.