DESTIN, FL– There is no doubt that coaches are ok with players making money off their likeness, but LSU’s Brian Kelly said there is one avenue that would be difficult to turn back from. Contracts for players have been brought up numerous times in recent months, but how that would work is still an ongoing discussion.
Speaking at the SEC Spring meetings in Destin, Brian Kelly made it clear that the current model is taking us down a path towards professional contracts. Having a player become an employee of a school could lead to multiple problems and Kelly thinks the student-athlete is headed towards becoming a professional athlete.
“This has turned into a runaway train that has moved well past a student-athlete and is moving too fast toward a professional contract,” Kelly said. “I don’t think that’s what the intention was. So we’re going to need some guidelines here before this gets thrown into Congress.”
If there were a scenario that could steer players towards a professional avenue, it might not look as promising once they get to the other side, at least according to Kelly.
“I don’t think they want contracts,” Kelly said. “I don’t think they want to be traded. I’m sure they don’t want to be cut. I’m sure they’re not going to like getting a call at 3 p.m. in the afternoon saying, ‘Hey, I don’t know but we traded you today to St. Bonaventure. Oh they don’t have a football team.'”
Kelly made it a point to say that he would love to see boosters get out of the NIL game and more transparency regarding the contracts that are currently being thrown around at the moment. But we have a problem right now in college sports in regards to guidelines, which are flimsy at best. Trying to set parameters for these schools while also dealing with state laws is a difficult task.
But for Kelly, they have to handle the situation now, before this situation becomes even worse.
“How can we reel this in and make sure the student-athletes have the ability to be educated so they have something that they can build on later? I think that’s what we’re all trying to get our hands on.”
Asked what was the biggest topic of the day, it should come as no surprise what the answer was from Kelly.
“I’d say probably say NIL, transfer portal, calendar. A lot of it also had to do with scheduling and playoffs. That’s a lot, right? We probably could still be in there, but I think that’s enough before your head blows up.”
Good luck, they’ve got a long ways to go.