It’s been around two years since the world of college sports entered uncharted territory when the NIL Era arrived virtually overnight.
While finally allowing student-athletes to profit off of their name, image, and likeness seemed like a promising development in theory, many of the skeptics who voiced concerns about the potential fallout have seen a few of those fears realized to various degrees.
Earlier this year, Nick Saban voiced his displeasure with the NIL collectives that have become de facto lobbying firms for a number of high-profile programs, and while FAU coach Dusty May didn’t specifically mention endorsements while claiming other schools tried to poach players during the NCAA Tournament, it’s not a huge stretch to assume they were central to some of those conversations.
College programs have obviously had to deal with the bulk of the ramifications stemming from NIL’s impact on the landscape, but as Pete Carroll recently noted, those sponsorships have also had a quiet but noticeable impact on players who’ve gotten a sizeable bag in college before making the leap to the NFL.
Guys who’ve taken their talents to the next level have historically had to grapple with a number of issues they’d never really encountered before, but as Carroll notes, NIL deals and the transfer portal have given them an early taste of what it’s like to ink a massive contract and navigate free agency.
Here’s what he had to say about the matter via Pro Football Talk:
“These kids have choices and they’re figuring it out, and here’s a whole young kind of evolution occurring here, and they’re early in it but they’re exposed differently, so we’re seeing guys a little bit differently
They’re getting paid. I think they can’t help but be affected by that. It’s a different world.
They don’t have to stay at their schools anymore. They can go wherever they want. I think it changes the guys. It changes their mentality. I don’t know what the results of it’s going to be because it’s only a couple years old right now, but it’s evolving now, and we’re going to see, I think, some changes.”
Carroll stressed it’s a bit too early to make any sweeping generalizations about how NIL has changed the mindset of rising players, but it will be interesting to see if there’s a noticeable impact on their overall levels of maturity and other potential factors stemming from this fairly new reality.