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Kirk Herbstreit rips NIL: ‘That’s just not a healthy model’

Kirk Herbstreit
Photo credit: Sporting News

Former college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit doesn’t think the current model for NIL is sustainable.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Herbstreit shared his thoughts on how the name, image and likeness landscape has altered college sports.

“That’s not what NIL was about,” Herbstreit said. “It was about Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud or a guy who was established on the field creating marketing opportunities. It’s not about trying to outbid another booster to try to get a recruit. That’s just not a healthy model.”

Herbstreit continued his rant: “It’s terrible for the sport. It puts these coaches in weird spots. What I’m about is the next wave – the ESPN money, the Fox money, it’s going into the Big Ten from Fox and the SEC from ESPN. I’m all about the players saying, ‘Forget NIL. Let’s negotiate and get a share of those dollars. Oh, we’re going to a 16-team playoff? How many billions of dollars? OK, we need a share of that.’

“But I don’t like what it’s started out with the recruiting… I went to this school and got offered this, next week I’m gonna go to that school and get offered this. That is a bunch of bulls–t.”

Herbstreit touched on Tennessee recruit Nico Iamaleava, who reportedly will earn $8 million in NIL money to attend the university for football.

“How can an adult with a good conscience say this is awesome for the sport?” Herbstreit added. “What’s going to happen when the kid from [Warren], as an example? Hopefully he’s a great player. But, with the reports about [him receiving] three years, $8 million, what if he doesn’t? What if he struggles? What happens then? I mean, that’s gonna happen eventually. How are those guys in Knoxville gonna feel about that? How’s it gonna go over in a locker room, you know?”

There’s no doubt about it that Herbstreit has some good points, and there could definitely be changes in the near future as NIL gets more complicated, but NIL isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.