By Guest | Published 08/07/2022 | USF Bulls Athletics
The game is a changin folks. The era of paying 18 year olds millions of dollars to come to a certain school to play football is here. Many of us saw it coming. Lane Kiffin sees it now, and has called it legalized cheating. Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher have had public pissing matches over who pays more. Ohio State Head Coach Ryan Day said he needs “13 million dollars to keep this roster together.” Jim Harbaugh’s reply was that maybe he could double that.
Long are the days of Jim Leavitt leading out a bunch of chip-on-their-shoulder Florida boys to give anyone a run for their money. Today we must get that bag.
I am not the grandpa on the porch here. If you’re out there rippin spirals and scoring tuddys and people want to buy your jersey or autograph - get some! That’s what NIL was sold as. What it has morphed into is very simply an auction for players. You begged for it… you got it. And to make it better they want to open it up to unlimited transfers. The story of Jordan Addision from Pitt should be as obvious an example as one could need from a USF fan’s point of view. National star wide out at Pitt, won an ACC title. All of a sudden he wants to transfer to USC? To play for a coach that was just at OU? Weird. In the age of NIL what would you expect Quinton Flowers to do after 2016? I wouldn’t blame him at all for taking his world class talent to a better paying customer. But this is the college athletics atmosphere you begged for if you were moaning about unrestricted NIL.
Let’s all be serious - these guys get free education, gear, housing, trips around the country, and walk around campus like kings. Should they get a little money too? Sure why not. The money is there. (If you think the gazillions created by the sport shouldn’t go to the TV execs, good me neither force it to go back to the schools’ general scholarship fund.) Should they be able to sell their jersey? Sure with some regulation that wouldn’t be hard to make work. Should external bodies exist to essentially bribe players to come to schools, and recruitment for talent turn into a bid bidding war? Yea probably not. But they do. (Remember most of you begged for this)
So that brings us to USF football’s new “collective”. What is a “collective” and do we need one? Short answer is yes. The game is the game and we have to play. If Gerry got a little squeeze to come to USF then I’m ready for the juice. (I have no clue if he did or not).
Enter Dreamfield and The Fowler Collective. Is Dreamfield/TFC here to entice players to come to USF? I don’t know. It’s a for profit company co-founded by a UCF player. (Side note I have nothing but respect for that players game - dude had “it” like not many others). It appears to be a representation firm for athletes to make money off their “brand.” And they want your money… monthly. I already give money monthly to college students, but it’s called my kids 529 plan. I don’t know about you but I don’t have a lot of dollars to toss around. I already sneak some out of the account to donate to the Bulls club behind my wife’s back . I have to donate to be able to pay for parking? Ok just take the money and let me park. That money goes to student athletes, facilities, staff and the program… awesome. Horns Up. Am I actually interested in giving money to college students so they can do Chipotle ads and some company like dreamfield can take a slice off the top? I’m not. Maybe you are. Chipotle has its own inflation cost issues and full honesty T-Flats is the spot. (Sponsorship welcome - I want that bag too). And there are pile of these NIL companies (not collectives) lining up to get a slice of this industry - and I tell you what they all suck at making good looking merch.
A “collective” in the terms you’ve heard it on TV regarding programs like Texas A&M and Florida are easily recognized. The Gator Collective is a great example. This is real NIL in action. A powerful group of donors acting in collective to empower athletes aka compensating players in a professional manner to play formerly amateur sports. Sure it’s layered in “brand creation” and a bunch of other NIL lip service. But it gets the job done. Its executive board consists of 3 UF alumni who appear to have deep pockets themselves. This is what a collective is. Its only website is orange and blue. It very clearly is in the game of making UF win.
So… it’s your money. You can do whatever it is you want with it. But let’s not just click donate on the next new shiny thing painted green and gold. We all want to support USF, but if we’re just giving kids money who are going to college there’s probably a struggling cancer researching grad student who could use some Chipotle money too. Or there’s always my kids’ 529.
But USF fans should at least be aware of what’s out there. We probably need a “collective” but Im just not so sure UCF founded, fancy websited, dreamfield is the answer. And if I’m wrong… dreamfield will be there in a few months to “donate” to if that’s what giving money to a private company money is called these days. Maybe by then we’ll see what the outputs are. I’d sure like to know what percent goes to overhead. I’m just looking out for you Bulls nation. Again, it is your money, I just don’t want to see people swept up in the word “collective” before we know what this is.
(Full honesty - I’ve had that gif on my phone for awhile and this is my best chance to use it - and if you don’t watch The Boys well then you’ve got bigger problems than NIL. Amazon yo wassup I’m tryna get that bag. This one’s free but the next plug is $5)
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