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Greg Schiano on NIL: ‘The integrity of the game is at stake’

Greg Schiano
Photo credit: Rutgers Athletics

While many believe NIL is great in the sense that student-athletes are now getting paid, a main concern that has been raised is how it actually levels the playing field between all universities.

Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano shared his thought on a recent podcast appearance.

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“The integrity of the game is at stake,” Schiano said on Adam Breneman’sNext Up Podcast” (h/t 247 Sports). “I think you’re going to start to see things pop up that are byproducts of NIL. 18 to 22-year-olds with substantial money in their pocket is different than a 22-year-old that goes to the National Football League and has guidance and has been through a college program.”

While Schiano says he plans to continue to operate with integrity, he’s not naïve to the fact that others will not.

“One of the things that I fear about NIL is people have been cheating forever,” Schiano said. “People say ‘No, we don’t.’ But that’s fine. I’m not going to worry about that. I am a big boy. I’ve done this a lot of years. The thing we have to make sure is there was always an 85 scholarship limit… Can we keep it where there’s a sustainable 85-limit where guys aren’t just getting paid through NIL and using that as additional scholarships.”

While Schiano has concerns about NIL, he isn’t necessarily against it. He just wants it to be done the right way.

“NIL is something that I have been a proponent of,” Schiano said. “I worked for coach [Joe] Paterno, and he was a proponent of paying the players way back. So I adopted that by listening to him. And I thought players should have been paid as long as I’ve been a head coach. I’ve said that. At times, I’ve gotten laughed out of the room. But it’s not very funny now. I think NIL is a good thing. I just want to make sure that it’s handled the right way. I’m not sure we’re doing that right now.”

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Schiano also knows that student athletes aren’t actually being paid for their name, image and likeness. It has everything to do with their athletic abilities.

“There’s a lot of programs where guys are making huge amounts of money,” Schiano said. “That’s a professional athlete. They’re not paying that guy that money because he has a nice name or a nice image, or his picture or likeness. They’re paying him because he’s a really good football player. And that’s what people are attracted to. Now you say, ‘Well, it’s not pay for play.’ Well, that same guy, if he wasn’t playing football, would not be making that money, requiring that kind of fee. So it is in essence, right? I think we all have to come to grips. It’s out. The train has left the station.”

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