How NIL Could Derail Boise State Football’s Path to Prosperity
College football is almost unrecognizable these days. The sport has gone from athletes not compensated for their on-the-field exploits to recruits who are already cashing in six-figure checks before spring practice. The SEC and Big 10 lead the college conferences in athletes cashing in on the new Name Image and Likeness Rule.
Boise State Football's Biggest Rivals
The transfer portal has created a level of free agency in America's second most popular sport. Before the portal was created, athletes had to sit out a year before being eligible to play for another team. The transfer portal allows players to leave a program anytime they want. Coaches have complained that they have to re-recruit their players every year to keep them on the team.
Boise State Football is not in a Power Five conference, but they do live in the neighborhood of the Pac-12. It wasn't that long ago that Chris Petersen and his successor Bryan Harsin would raid California signing multiple star recruits away from Pac 12 teams. That equation is now in jeopardy because of the nil and the transfer portal.
Athletes used to choose a football program based on the opportunity to play and the school's connection to the NFL. (See Nick Saban's run at Alabama.) Money is now the biggest motivator for college athletes looking to play big-time college football. Washington State just signed a quarterback for $90,000 to play in Pullman. You can read how the Cougars have adjusted to the new era of college football here.
The impact on Boise State
The Broncos now face the reality that money is a significant part of an athlete's decision on where they will play football. Boise State has begun to make inroads into the lucrative world of nil funding. The good news for the team is that their athletic director Jeramiah Dickey understands the financial world of college sports. The athletic department must now look for partnerships that will allow athletes a market value for their efforts.
Boise State and other Non-Power Five schools will have to rely on superior coaching, unlimited playing opportunities, and a financial package in the neighborhood of what other schools (Pac-12) can offer their players.