Ole Miss football head coach Lane Kiffin wishes there was a cap when it comes to NIL.
As Lane Kiffin and the rest of collegiate sports adjust to the wonderful world of NIL, the Ole Miss football head coach believes a NIL cap would solve many growing problems.
Kiffin spoke to Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger about this very subject. He offered a simplified answer when it came to guardrailing names, images, and likenesses: cap.
“What seems simple is that there is a cap,” Kiffin told Dellenger. “Why aren’t we a professional sport? What is the difference? [Players] to earn money. You can opt for an independent agency. We are a professional sport and they are professional players. Contract employees without a contract. They can get off whenever they want. And how isn’t every elite collegiate player seen not at the end of their season unless there are cap and contract rule changes? [entering the portal]?”
While Kiffin was one of the best navigators of the transfer portal era, he knows full well that Ole Miss Football will never be able to keep up with the deeper programs in the SEC landscape. Kiffin and his staff may love a player, but the Rebels are more likely to be outbid for a player’s NIL services than not when it comes to the upper crust of the conference they play in.
Of course, implementing a NIL cap has unintended consequences, but it’s not the worst idea in the world either. So let’s discuss it…
Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss football head coach, wants there to be some kind of NIL cap
let’s be real The collegiate athletics amateur model is dead. It had to die, but the murky waters that come from NIL must be lit. Kiffin is right that college football is a professional sport, but one without contracts. Players can hit Free Agency as many times as they want. This makes recruiting nearly impossible – basically an incredibly laborious art form.
The idea of imposing a salary cap is great in theory, if you will, but blue-blooded programs with rich boosters will always find loopholes around those caps. They always have and always will, so the idea that a NIL cap would eliminate this is foolish. What a NIL cap will do is create even more interesting creases in collegiate sports, as “capologists” will now make their way into college athletic departments.
While the introduction of the salary cap era has worked wonders in the NFL, there will certainly be permutations in the collegiate landscape. The better run programs will find their rough equivalents of signing bonuses, training bonuses, roster bonuses, and so on. Oh, it’s going to be exhausting, but we all signed up for this by driving the final nail into the amateur model’s coffin.
Ultimately, the idea of a NIL cap feels justified. Not every player will receive the same compensation as this is not the case in professional sports. Extra paperwork in this endeavor will certainly spoil things, but then again, it’s a program’s burden of proof. In short, the well-run programs will continue to make rounds of those who never get it together.
A zero cap gives Ole Miss a better chance, but it won’t close the gap to an Alabama or a Georgia.
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