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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Are big-name schools capitalizing on NILs?

by Wally Hall | August 12, 2021 at 2:25 a.m.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it lives large in the hearts of journalists.

With that in mind, five colleges were picked to see whether there is a new recruiting pattern going on in football and basketball since athletes were allowed to receive money for the use of their name, image or likeness.

There have been rumors about this player or that player picking a wealthier school because he was going to get thousands of dollars a month to matriculate his way.

The current recruiting class was examined, meaning the players who still have a senior season of high school to play.

Since it became legal to make money off NILs, Alabama has received six commitments to bring its total to 14.

Nick Saban has admitted that likely starting quarterback Bryce Young, who has yet to take a snap for the Crimson Tide, is making close to a million bucks total from several companies.

As for basketball, the Tide have no commitments. That tells you a lot about Alabama.

Texas has had only four new commitments out of its 17 total, and its only basketball commitment came after NIL was made possible.

Notre Dame has added seven commitments to its 21 total for football, and its only basketball commitment.

Oregon, which has one of the most powerful supporters in the world in Nike, has added seven of its 16 recruits in football, and one of two in basketball.

Kel'el Ware, the 7-footer from North Little Rock, has announced he will travel 2,238 miles to Eugene, Ore., to play college basketball.

Arkansas has added five to bring its total to 17 in football, and two of three in basketball. Two of those are from Arkansas.

Obviously, the early data isn't great, but we haven't been in this crazy new world of NIL for two full months yet.

But if a player who hasn't taken a snap can get almost a million bucks, expect it to get wilder.

* * *

No one has asked to use yours truly's name, image or likeness even though wearing a mask has improved my looks.

I wear a mask in public because of math. The vast majority, almost 100%, of the people in the hospital suffering from covid have not been vaccinated.

Even though I received the shots in January, there's a chance of getting it again. While it normally isn't as severe for the vaccinated, I'm not taking a chance of giving it to my 6-year-old grandson.

He attends public school in Little Rock and his mom, like many parents, is waiting for them to decide on masks.

Children don't have a choice about vaccinations, so adults should be the most worried about protecting them.

These kids are our future leaders and athletes.

* * *

The college football coaches poll was released earlier this week, and the top part was exactly as expected.

In football these days, it's always going to start -- and too many times end -- with Alabama and Clemson, who were ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

The SEC totaled six teams in the poll with Ole Miss, who apparently is not under the radar, coming in at No. 25.

Georgia (No. 5), Texas A&M (6), Florida (11) and LSU (13) round out the SEC representatives.

The Aggies could be a playoff team if they find a quarterback, which they seem to believe they have in freshman Haynes King or Zach Calzada, a redshirt freshman.

LSU should have been higher than No. 13 with 18 starters back.

When Oklahoma (3) and Texas (19) join the league, the poll will be even more dominated by the SEC.

Arkansas did receive three points, which is better than expected.

Print Headline: Are big-name schools capitalizing on NILs?

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