Bret Bielema Appears To Take A Shot At NIL After Recruit Flips To Auburn

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Illinois football coach Bret Bielema might not be the biggest NIL fan in the world.

NIL is the new normal in college football, and players have never had more freedom as they’re now able to cash in. That has led to players getting the bag and a ton of movement.

While capitalism is a great thing, not everyone is a fan of how it’s shaking out, and it seems you can put Bielema in that category.

Following Illinois transfer commit Avery Jones flipping to Auburn, the head coach of the Fighting Illini actually quote tweeted the offensive lineman and wrote, “College football is changing everyday #NIL.”

Was this an appropriate thing for Bret Bielema to do?

Ripping players leaving for better NIL deals elsewhere is pretty normal. Lane Kiffin has talked about NIL in the past and Nick Saban damn near started a war after claiming Texas A&M paid for its top recruiting class.

Opinions are all over the place. The rich seem to love NIL, and programs without the cash to compete – including Illinois – might not be as pumped.

Bret Bielema reacts to Avery Jones flipping from Illinois to Auburn. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

Having said that, quote tweeting a recruit who flipped and complaining about NIL is a very weak look. It’s an incredibly weak look.

If Bret Bielema is upset with Illinois’ NIL capabilities, he should handle the situation. Get on the phone with people with deep pockets and start getting more cash.

Don’t publicly flame a recruit because he got a better deal elsewhere. This isn’t far removed from random people who tweet recruits who don’t sign with their team. That’s pathetic, and what Bret Bielema did here isn’t far off.

Bret Bielema publicly complains about NIL. (Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If you have a problem, handle it privately. Don’t take it to social media like an upset mega-fan. Bret Bielema should definitely know better.

Written by David Hookstead

David is a college football fanatic who foolishly convinces himself every season the Wisconsin Badgers will finally win a national title. Has been pretending to be a cowboy ever since the first episode of Yellowstone aired.


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  1. Yo Badger FanBoy …. will you be as pro-NIL if 3-4 of “Fick’s” transfers flip on him a day before beginning class in Madison? You can bet those incoming QBs you are so excited about are still getting offers.

  2. Supporters of my alma mater, MSState, have organized an NIL group that collects monthly contributions from alumni and supporters. I doubt ours offers the greatest financial benefit, but we had a decent recruiting class, so it’s got to be enough for now.

    Illinois has some very wealthy alums, they can certainly build something sufficient to satisfy the needs of that bloviating buffoon.

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