Recruiting for college sports has always been a dogfight. Rivalries led schools to compete aggressively with one another for players, offering potential recruits money, cars, women, and special privileges. That legacy carries on today, but the game has changed slightly with NIL. 

 

In 2019, California passed the “Fair Pay to Play” Act, which allowed college athletes to pursue compensation for promotional opportunities. This act was the first of its kind to build on the original class action suit that former basketball player Ed O’Bannon brought in the 2000s brought against the NCAA for licensing the use of former players’ names, images, and likenesses (NIL) in video games with NCAA branding. 

 

In a way, the case and related legislation has legitimized practices that previously occurred only in the shadows. As recruiting news comes in during the offseason, deals with local businesses and “collectives” attached to the university inevitably promise additional money-making opportunities in addition to scholarship opportunities. 

Vivid Picks Card

Want to play the odds?

Sign Up and Deposit Up to $100

Your Deposit Will be Fully Matched

New Users Only

 

Jaden Rashada’s NIL saga has been one of the most notable. It showcases the ever-growing importance of NIL in recruiting and the shift in power in college sports away from the institutions and more toward the student-athletes. 

What’s Next for Jalen Rashada

Jaden Rashada is a 6’4 quarterback out of Pittsburg, CA. He’s the #6 ranked quarterback in the ESPN 300. After a flurry of recruiting offers, Rashada originally verbally committed to the University of Miami but flipped his commitment and signed a national letter of intent with the University of Florida Gators. 

 

As part of the signing with Florida, Rashada assumed that the original NIL offer presented to him was still on the table. 

 

After signing the national letter of intent, the Gator Collective told Rashada that the money for the NIL deal during the recruiting process was no longer available to him. Rashada was supposed to report to campus in Gainesville last week. He didn’t show up and asked the University of Florida to release him from his letter of intent. 

 

Rashada will now go back to the recruiting market. He’ll most likely visit schools that recruited him before – the list includes schools like LSU, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M. He’ll also get some attention from Pac-12 teams, as his dad played at Arizona State, and Rashada is more well-known in that region of the country. 

 

NIL Deals: A Factor in Recruiting for Years to Come

This case has highlighted the importance of the collectives that negotiate these deals. Because they are proxy organizations, the negotiations are rarely direct. The university and the collective are operating with different incentives.

 

There will need to be more coordination between these bodies, which will highlight the continued departure from the guise of amateur athleticism into a more “professional” arrangement between schools and the athletes that play for them. 

Prop Picks Tiktok