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College football is completely different today than it was just two years ago and Jake Dickert is frustrated. The 39-year-old led Washington State to a 7-5 record and a bowl game in his first season as the permanent head coach in Pullman but has concerns about the future of his roster.
In the modern era of college football, the transfer portal and NIL go hand-in-hand. If a player at a smaller program has a massive season, it is very likely that a larger program will reach out to inquire about whether he would be willing to transfer. Those conversations
often typically include a conversation about opportunities to profit through Name, Image and Likeness at the new school.
It’s hard to argue that discussions surrounding the portal and money isn’t tampering, though the NCAA remains largely unwilling and unable to enforce its rules.
An athletics staff member or other representative of the institution’s athletics interests shall not make contact with the student-athlete of another NCAA Division I institution, directly or indirectly, without first obtaining authorization through the notification of transfer process.— NCAA Regional Rules on Transfers, Tampering and Trends
Despite what is currently in place, tampering is happening. Former Pittsburgh wide receiver Jordan Addison reportedly turned down six figures from an SEC program and transferred to USC. Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi saw it coming and knew that tampering was going on behind the scenes.
Addison is just one example. Players all over the country are being enticed to transfer with the promise of big NIL money. Others, like Western Kentucky quarterback Austin Reed, are returning to their original program after signing a new NIL deal instead of transferring.
Money and the transfer portal are intertwined, and Jake Dickert is fed up.
During a recent press conference, Dickert spoke out about foul play. Multiple Cougars are being poached and it has reached unprecedented levels.
Dickert made two bold claims, though neither is particularly surprising.
He said that other programs (whether through their boosters or third-party consultants) are not just contacting his players. They are going directly to their parents.
In addition, he said that coaches from other schools are offering NIL money to consider transferring to their program. That is very illegal.
While it is no secret that college football coaching staffs are closely tied to the NIL and recruiting process, they are not allowed to be directly involved. That is explicitly stated in the NCAA rulebook.
NIL is to be handled by people around the program, not within the program. Dickert says that is long past true and says that it’s “not right.”
Dickert’s concerns are nothing new. Money and college football have always had an intrinsic tie to one another.
However, with the transfer portal and NIL, the sport’s connection to finances is amplified. Coaches, boosters and players are running rampant. Dickert has had enough.