The era of name, image and likeness complicates the highly lucrative job of a trainer.
You can understand Utah coach Kyle Whittingham complaining about ZERO money, easy transfers and the effect they have on college football, the effect they will have on his team of soccer.
He doesn’t like it. No way.
These changes complicate his work. The money paid out to players in top programs will be reflected, he said, in the rankings, with the top 25 programs giving out the most money lining up with the top 25 programs on the field and in polls.
That is to say, cash dominates the college game.
Wow. Who knew?
It has always been that way, at least to a large extent, and yes, that degree will be greater now.
Whittingham is preparing for USC, this week’s opponent for the Utes, as the Trojans have turned their success into an offseason, big players coming to Troy alongside Lincoln Riley, who moved from the Oklahoma at USC, leading to a No. 7 ranking and a 6-0 record.
Quarterback Caleb Williams was traded from the Sooners, wide receiver Jordan Addison from Pitt, along with a boatload of others.
How did they do it? How could the Utes do this? How someone?
Says Whittingham: “Pay them a lot of money… That’s how it is. That’s where it’s headed and there’s no debate about it unless they change the rules.
The Utah coach doubted these changes would happen now that “Pandora’s box” had been opened. So players like Williams and Addison will follow the money, get paid, and likely thrive before they officially turn pro. And teams like USC will also thrive because they have access to buckets of cash from sponsors willing to make those payouts.
Where does that leave Utah football?
Looking for his own buckets of cash to pass around.
Many college football fans probably agree with Whittingham, clinging to the romantic, antiquated notion that college football should be played by young people who want an education, love a school, and love the game.
This ship, at the highest academic level, left the dock a long time ago. It wasn’t as blatant, it wasn’t as open, it wasn’t as obvious or as smooth as it is today, payments being more clandestine, wire transfers of yesteryear being more difficult.
But the money was still circulating under the table.
Now it’s on top, as are – or will be – the teams that have the most.
I get the romance that fans want. I get the control coaches want.
But there’s something tragically comical about a coach like Whittingham, who earns over $6 million a year, complains that players can move, that players get paid for their names, pictures and likenesses.
Why did Riley come to USC? The same reason as these transfers.
So when coaches moan and moan about NIL rules now and their effect on the college game, they tend to ignore the fact that they are getting richer, probably beyond their dreams when they became coaches .
Good coaches are worth it. Some of them. If they win, they bring a lot of greenery to a school. They are professionals.
But, let’s face it, the players too, the best of them.
They make their money as they get their education…um, as they prepare for their NFL shot…and they will continue to chase that money where their own interests can be served.
That’s pretty much how the world works, and college football is no exception. Forget the romance, let’s go.
Whether Utah football can keep pace with other programs in this regard is the question of the day, coaches and administrators are desperately connecting with those with deep pockets to answer.
Whether Whittingham wants to deal with this in future seasons will play a part in how long he will be there, he has always said he was not inclined to coach in the later stages of his life. Too many other good things to live for.
But a lot of those things are available to him because he has piles of money in the bank, solid, solid investments all around. He made his money.
Now others are looking to make their own.