Big changes have come to the college sports landscape, with athletes now able to profit off their name, image and likeness rights. But Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said Wednesday that the new NIL rules will benefit some players more than others.
"Everything that we've done in college athletics in the past has always been equal," he said, per Alex Scarborough of ESPN. "Everybody's had equal scholarship, equal opportunity. Now that's probably not going to be the case. Some positions, some players will have more opportunities than others."
"How that's going to impact your team, our team, the players on the team, I really can't answer because we don't have any precedent for it," he added.
Saban said that he and his coaching staff are trying to educate and guide their players through the new NIL world.
"I know that we're doing the best we can to try to get our players to understand the circumstance they're in, the opportunity they have and how those opportunities are not going to be equal for everybody, and it will be important for our team's success that people are not looking over their shoulder at what somebody else does or doesn't do," he said.
Scarborough noted that Alabama players Malachi Moore, Christopher Allen and Henry To'o To'o all already have deals with PSD Underwear.
Crimson Tide sophomore quarterback Bryce Young, meanwhile, is reportedly nearing nearly $1 million in endorsement deals already.
"Certain positions, probably, enhance opportunities to create value, like quarterback, and our quarterback (Young) already has approached ungodly numbers—I'm not going to say what they are—and he hasn't even played yet. Hasn't even started," Saban said Tuesday, per The Athletic. "... It’s almost seven figures. And it's like, the guy hasn't even played yet. But that's because of our brand."
Young was Mac Jones' backup in the 2020 season and hasn't even been named the team's starter for the 2021 campaign, though he's expected to win the job.
Matt Barrie @MattBarrie
The first media days with NIL has received all kinds of comments and attention, especially with the Bryce Young revelation. Here’s <a href="https://twitter.com/finebaum?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@finebaum</a>’s reaction. <a href="https://t.co/fFZE8Jn2ST">pic.twitter.com/fFZE8Jn2ST</a>
Most college players won't come anywhere close to that figure, instead taking smaller endorsement deals with businesses in their area to earn some cash while they're in school. But for the top stars in college football, the new NIL rules are going to open the door for some lucrative opportunities.