NIL Episode 10: College Insights - Sportsfinda's Marketplace

In the Business of NIL Episode 10 our guest and Assistant Ad at Penn State, Michael Cross speaks with us on the insights of the NIL in college athletics. Michael has worked many different positions within college athletics and has done so for the past 25 years. He has worked at various different Universities and is very knowledgeable in the world of college athletics. 


Throughout the short existence of NIL in college sports thus far, the NCAA has given little guidance and rules about what can and cannot occur, therefore leaving institutions and Universities to sort of figure it out on their own along the way. These ways of figuring out include two main topics:

  • Rules Compliance (guiding athletes to act in certain ways to comply with their states laws in order to protect student athletes and help them along their journey)
  • Education (Important that student athletes get educated on the rules they need to follow, as well as taxes, financial aspects, contracts, etc.)

The NIL has brought challenges along the way not only to the athletes and Universities, but to the athletic departments as well. Some challenges may be small but others are fairly substantial, some of these challenges include:

  • Lack of standard on what can/can not occur (unclarity of these regulations and rules)
  • Understanding level of investment to have a successful/beneficial program for athletes regarding to the NIL (investing in more partners, apps or adding more staff)
  • Recruiting based off strictly NIL and money opportunities, instead of traditional recruiting because the athlete likes the school


The world of NIL has certainly changed the way athletes view different schools and places based on increased opportunities at certain schools. The NIL has changed the game of recruiting for many reasons. The NIL can cause athletes recruiting and picking schools for reasons other than they typically would in the recent years. Instead of the traditional reasons such as liking the school, location, coaches, teammates and more, athletes can now see the advantages of schools based on how they handle the NIL as well as how successful they can be based on their name image and likeness and where they can make the most money. 


Since Barstool started representing athletes and their NIL, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding whether or not schools and institutions should allow their athletes to sign with Barstool due to the links to sports gambling as well as alcohol. However, Barstool has still gone on to represent tons of student athletes across the country despite this. As sports gambling is becoming more and more common across the U.S. it seems like it could be making its way into more and more big companies which soon may create even more drama surrounding how to handle student athletes signing with companies that have sportsbooks, and relate to gambling. 


As we start to see, sports venues have become growing in alcohol sales, as well as more likely to host events or games near a sportsbook such as Las vegas, and this is due partially to the acceptance by society, but more so the need to generate additional revenue at sporting games and events across the country. 


While the world of NIL is new to everyone, it seems to still be a work in progress as there are always new challenges that occur daily. One thing that administrators can agree on, is that it is important to create a common standard as to what can and cannot occur within the world of NIL. Along with that, is it important to provide student athletes with the tools and resources needed to help monetize and grow their NIL. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *