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Lane Kiffin, the head coach at Ole Miss, has coached in the NFL before, and now he feels as though he’s coaching there again. Thanks to the new NIL laws, he sort of is.
Kiffin joined The Dan Patrick Show and discussed his general feelings about college athletes profiting off their name, image and likeness. Kiffin pointed to Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who is nearing $1 million in NIL deals — despite having yet to start a single college game.
“I just didn’t think it would get to that level, especially this fast, with players that haven’t started or really played very much,” Kiffin said. “But I guess after looking at it more, talking to people more, I guess there is more investing into the younger player that’s going to play a few years versus the guy who is going into his last year of eligibility where if you sign them you’ve only got him for one year, you know, to make money off of them.”
That’s when Kiffin compared big time college football to the NFL.
“That’s just the new world that we’re dealing with, more like it would be in professional sports. We really are professional sports now,” he said. “I mean, players get paid and we have free agency, except our free agency is almost year round. It really has changed a lot.”
Kiffin has been the head coach at Tennessee, USC and Florida Atlantic. He served a stint as Alabama’s offensive coordinator from 2014-16. He also became the youngest head coach in Raiders history in 2007, when he took the job at the age of 31. That run lasted one year.
But now, it’s as if he is in the pros all over again, with Kiffin watching the NIL dollars roll into Ole Miss, Alabama and others throughout college football.
“Like I said, it’s a free agency without the rules,” he told Patrick. “Kid just in (to the portal), all of a sudden he’s out there and you can just go take him. Or your kid comes and goes in and it’s not like you can franchise him or something like that and keep him. And they can like go in and come back. Allowing it now where everybody can just go and play immediately is awesome for the kids, but that’s a whole.
“I don’t think it’s going to be as great as everybody thinks and you’re going to have a ton of kids just like we have had … like hundreds and hundreds of kids that go in with nowhere to go, because the numbers don’t work right. When you lose these kids, they don’t give you new spots. You still only have 25 spots, so a school may only have one or two spots to take people, but all of these kids are leaving thinking they can go somewhere.
“And then when you take them — let’s say somebody took 10 — now it’s only 15 guys out of high school you can take. That’s 10 less high school players getting scholarships in one program. I think it’s going to have some unintended consequences here.”