Last week, Nick Saban shared that quarterback Bryce Young is set to make seven figures on the NIL market, before he’s even started for Alabama football. Ryan Day reacted to that jarring number during Big Ten media days today.
If Young, a former top recruit but one with little college experience, can get that kind of money in endorsement deals, Ohio State could be in a similar situation soon. One has to imagine that Justin Fields certainly would’ve been in that range last year.
“I think that stuff will happen naturally and I think the focus for all those guys just has to be development,” Day said of players getting huge deals, like Young reportedly has. “If they’re worried about starting, if they’re worried about money, then they’re worried about the wrong things. Those things happen and they will come naturally.”
Day does have some concerns about potentially lopsided payouts. He thinks issues could arise if a star quarterback is making significantly more than his teammates, even if that tends to be the way of the world at the next level.
Ohio State Coach Ryan Day hasn’t named a starting quarterback for 2021, but when he does, expect that player to have the opportunity to make big bucks. https://t.co/JPjHQulLDg
— Spectrum News 1 OH (@SpectrumNews1OH) July 23, 2021
“But I do think that we need to consider, down the road, somewhere along the line, maybe it’s a year from now, figuring out how we spread some of that money out. Because certainly the quarterback at Ohio State is going to have unbelievable opportunity,” Ryan Day added.
So far, it isn’t clear who that will be this year. Jack Miller, C.J. Stroud, and Kyle McCord are all vying to take over the job vacated by Fields.
“The wide receiver, the running back, there’s going to be certain positions, when you combine the brand of Ohio State, you combine the brand of Ohio State football, you combine the city of Columbus with our social media presence, it’s like the perfect alignment. So the opportunity for our guys is going to be unlike anywhere else in the country.
“How do we find ways to make sure we disseminate that throughout the team, because there’s a lot of guys out there who are also playing football?” Day said. “There’s guys who are blocking for the quarterback, there’s guys who are covering the wide receivers. And while it’s tricky and I don’t really have quite the answer, I know that there’s got to be some sort of formula down the road that we can consider.”
If schools were to pay players directly, which is still not allowed by the NCAA, this would be less of an issue. Fair or not, the NIL reform creates a pretty free market, and there will be large disparities in what athletes get. Time will tell if that creates issues in locker rooms across the country.
“I haven’t (seen a divide),” Texas DeMarvion Overshown said, when asked about that concern with his team earlier this summer. “This locker room is so close that I feel like we wouldn’t have that problem. Because everybody in here, if one eats, we want all want everybody else to eat.”
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