UNC Head Coach Mack Brown Says College Football Is The Mini NFL: ‘We Will Never See Amateurism Again. It’s Gone. I hate it’

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There’s no denying that NIL is changing the college football landscape, and to University of North Carolina head coach Mack Brown, that means a shift to an NFL-like way of doing business.

He is not a fan of this.

“We’re the NFL. We’re the mini-NFL,” Brown said in an interview with Sports Illustrated “It’s just like the NFL. That’s where we are headed. We will never see amateurism again. It’s gone. I hate it. I thought that’s who we are, what college football is.

“Now, we are a farm league for the NFL with many NFL programs. We are headed toward an NFL model.”

Brown is the oldest active coach in the FBS and has been a head coach since the mid-1980s. The 71-year-old has seen the game evolve, especially in the last 5 years or so since he took over the program at Chapel Hill. The 71-year-old offered some very pointed criticism of how some programs hide behind NIL.

“Cheaters cheat. People who used to give inducements are still doing that. It’s just called NIL,” Brown said. “This stupid thing about ‘it’s not pay-for-play.’ Why are they paying them? They’re not paying them for nothing. It is what it is. I wish we would stop hiding behind NIL.”

UNC’s Mack Brown has seen a lot during his time in college football, and he’s not liking where it’s headed. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Brown Had An Idea To Fix The System

Far be it from Brown to complain about something without offering a solution. He floated the idea of instituting a salary cap of sorts. From there, he suggested restructuring based on the revenue.

“We’ve all got to get together. I wish our leadership would be more of a group,” Brown told SI. “We’ve got people making decisions that are making decisions for the whole. You can’t make the same decisions for Division II like you do the Power 5. We’re doing that, and it doesn’t work. Even FCS. Even Group of 5. There’s not as much money. We need to separate divisions.”

To highlight the disparity between programs, Brown pointed to radio transmitters in quarterbacks’ helmets.

“I’ve always said you should have the transmitter in the helmet so you can talk to the college quarterback. You need to talk to the pro quarterback; why can’t you talk to the college quarterback?” he said. “They say certain schools can’t afford it. If you can’t afford it, that’s fine. Be in another division.”

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.


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  1. He’s right, and it is a real shame. It’s too bad the XFL didn’t take hold as an official minor league system, so that athletes could have chosen to play for a scholarship or to play for paychecks. As it is, the transfer portal and NIL are things that potentially could have worked individually, but together, it is a big mess.

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