Dave Aranda Was So Sarcastically Frank When Discussing Baylor’s Previously Ancient NIL Approach

Dave Aranda on the field before a Baylor Bears football game.

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Baylor head football coach Dave Aranda took to the podium on Wednesday in Las Vegas to preview his team’s upcoming season at Big 12 media days. The fifth-year leader went viral for a response to a question about NIL.

Aranda admitted that the Bears were slow to adapt to the new world of name, image, and likeness, but the times, they are-a-changin’!

He sat down with media this week, and recruiting quickly became a topic of discussion. The Bears have been on a hot streak of late, snagging eight commitments since the start of June.

What’s the secret behind the success?

“We’re paying players,” Aranda quipped when pressed on the matter.

So obvious, yet so true!

Dave Aranda has previously admitted that he was the reason for the program’s “lack of NIL presence,” breaking things down in a November press conference.

“I think the way it stands right now just with our record and with the amount of freshmen that are playing on our team… We are kind of the perfect example of a team to be poached [by other teams]. So, all that’s in play right now and is happening right now and is something that I’m spending a lot of time on.

“So, whether that’s NIL for the guys on our team and getting that to where that is way competitive. And then, for guys that are coming in, and that are going to be on our team and all that, I think it’s something that is a major focus.”

-Dave Aranda

As a result, the Bears have been much more active this offseason on the NIL front.

That includes starting an in-house unit dedicated to name, image, and likeness initiatives. The focus is already paying dividends having recently secured a $10 million athletics donation, a portion of which is to be used strictly for player payments.

While the head coach has become more open about his NIL outlook, he’s still hesitant to take a purely “transactional” approach.

“We talk about buying players. What you don’t want to do is make it so it’s so transactional that that’s what it is. You’re buying and discarding…”

He still wants to build relationships as opposed to making short-term deals. Still, he’s quickly realizing the power that NIL can have at Baylor.

Dave Aranda has seen inconsistent results thus far with the Bears, sandwiching a Big 12 title between three losing seasons. Baylor went 3-9 last year and is projected to finish 12th in the conference in 2024.

The program is in need of a quick turnaround – and NIL could be the first step!