Bryce Young's Name, Image, Likeness Deals Aren't Enough: Daily Cavalcade

Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Young's Name, Image, Likeness Deals Aren't Enough: Daily Cavalcade

College Football Cavalcade

Bryce Young's Name, Image, Likeness Deals Aren't Enough: Daily Cavalcade

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Daily College Football Cavalcade: Alabama starting quarterback Bryce Young has reportedly signed NIL deals for $800,000 – and that’s still not enough.


College Football Daily Cavalcade: Bryce Young and Name, Image and Likeness deals

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Sorry if this take sucks, it’s not my fault …

I honestly don’t understand what any of the guy’s sponsors do.

Auburn fan: “The Alabama starting quarterback will make close to a million dollars.”

Auburn fan 2: “He took a pay cut?”

Once again, you’re being used, college football players, and the adults in the room are making it seem like they’re doing you a favor.

Yeah, Bryce Young – Alabama’s likely starting quarterback – has reportedly signed Name, Image and Likeness deals – NIL, if you prefer – for around $800,000, and there’s sure to be more where that comes from if he’s as good as expected.

You know who wants you to know that? The University of Alabama, and especially head coach Nick Saban. And why? Three reasons: recruiting, recruiting, recruiting.

Technically, a school isn’t supposed to entice recruits with sponsorship possibilities, money, cars, tractors, or any other benefits outside of the norm, but there’s now the expectation of an implied institutional revenue stream for the star players on the top teams.

So while Saban would never directly tell Johnny Five-Star that coming to Tuscaloosa will lead to millions of dollars, giving that shrugging “what are you going to do?” look while hyping up what his starting quarterback is about to make is totally kosher.

There’s no dogging Saban and Alabama when it comes to this – it’s smart. Obviously recruits see that and know how the Tide rolls.

That’s how the game is played. It’s rigged. Even though Young and other players are capitalizing on their talent, fame, name, image and likeness, it’s still not a fair deal.

Forget the bad joke in the opening – the Alabama starting quarterback is woefully underpaid compared to the exposure and revenue being produced for the school, the conference, and the networks.

CFN 2021 Alabama Preview

Outside of basic stipends and aspects of the normal scholarship …

Does the University of Alabama have to directly pay Bryce Young a salary to play football? Nope.

Does the SEC have to pay Young? Nope.

Does the NCAA have to pay Young? Nope.

Does ESPN have to pay Young? Nope.

Is there a massive realignment taking an already billion-dollar business into the stratosphere? Yup, and because all the high-profile guys get various deals that have nothing to do with being paid by what should be termed their employers, it’ll seem like these professional players – and that’s what college football players are now – are getting a cut of all the revenue.

They’re not.

Perception-wise, players getting these deals mean everything to the schools and conferences. NIL makes it far more palatable for all the college athletic business types to keep printing money off of their under-compensated labor.

To the average sports fan, the games will roll on, Young is getting money, and all will seem right with the world. In reality, players are simply getting jobs. The players aren’t able to unionize – both legally in some ways and practically in others – so they’re not able to collectively bargain to get paid what they’re really worth to these schools, conferences and networks. Meanwhile …

Nick Saban has a ton of endorsement deals and he gets a salary of over $8 million this year, plus incentives.

And the starting quarterback who might take Saban and Alabama to another national title gets a stipend of a few thousand – just like every other scholarship player.

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