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SEC commissioner Greg Sankey believes adjustments need to be made to NIL

Greg Sankey
Photo credit: Southeastern Conference

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey recently joined “The Joel Klatt Show”, with NIL being heavily discussed.

Klatt believed that colleges used to control a player’s likeness. However, Sankey shut that notion down.

“Yeah, we never owned name, image and likeness. That’s one of those misnomers,” Sankey said. “The national standard was: you’re not going to engage in that economic activity during a period of time if you choose to be a college athlete. What’s interesting is the colleges never retained anything around name, image and likeness after someone’s departure.

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“Now, that may be a fine point but there are examples in sports, professional sports, where people enter clubs or they enter points of access competitively and they’ve signed that away. And one of the concerns we should have right now — and this is why I offer not to be disagreeable as we have no idea what’s being signed in these agreements.”

Sankey also discussed the attitudes some athletes have towards NIL and potential downfalls.

“Here are the realities,” Sankey said. “You know, the high-level competitors said: ‘You know what, I’m not sure I want to deal with that. I’m here. I have educational expectations. I want to develop and grow. I have competitive expectations and I think more about what’s next and how I prepare for that than a local restaurant deal on a Tuesday night. And then we had some of that group with wisdom who said: ‘But I have teammates who need these opportunities, who don’t maybe have the economic access or some of the support that I can access.’ And so that’s part of the balance.

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“But I think that’s really insightful as we think about how we carry this forward back to kind of that national standard. I don’t think there’s anyone right now who says we stop or we fully pull back to where we were.

“In essence, we have to think about the protections for young people so that they’re not signing for what seems like a lot of money at 18 years old, and all of a sudden there were first round draft pick at 23 and they realize there’s an entanglement and now they’re in a court case without the type of cleanliness around these deals that would be much more optimal. We have to adjust this system and we need help to do it properly.”