NIL: "Show me the money!" It became a catchphrase in the movie, "Jerry Maguire." That flick happened to be about a pro athlete and his agent.
Well, it's a new day. No longer are just the pro athletes the ones to gain financially from their brand. The college guys are starting to get more than a scholarship, room and board (which is worth a good bit by the way).
Agree or disagree, the door is open to capitalize off of one's name, image and likeness. It started last week.
One of the first athletes in this state to endorse a product was Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. At the stroke of midinight on July 1, Nix posted a photo of himself with a Milo's tea.
Nix is not alone. Several players from Auburn and Alabama went on social media to announce their deals.
Social media is the key. It's not so much the number of touchdown passes you had last season, it's the number of followers you have. Those are real metrics that provide the corporate world with the numbers that will help sell their products.
Student-athletes are allowed to get agents to shop them around. The agents will make money too, but whether it's an agent, university official or parent, these young guys and gals might need some guidance on how much they are really worth.
While the outcry for years has been how athletes have been used by universities to profit from their likeness, it can now tilt towards big business doing the same.
18-22 year olds don't necessarily know what they are worth. A few thousand is a lot of money to some. It's not so much to corporate America. Athletes can be undersold at their own expense.
Tommy Tuberville, a former coach and now senator, was under scrutiny from remarks he made about college sports becoming the minor leagues and the issues that could come with that. He's got a point.
I saw a post that asked which past athletes would have profitted the most had NIL rules been in place all along. At Auburn and Alabama, several names come to mind.
Bo Jackson was a superstar as a college athlete. He definitley made big bucks after his playing days at Auburn as a pro who endorsed Nike. Bo knows.
Can you imagine what Cam Newton could have made? How about another Auburn guy in another sport - Charles Barkley.
I heard Joe Namath's name pop up from Bama fans. Joe became Broadway Joe with the Jets and a bigger-than-life figure after his college days. He made some dollars in advertising hawking products as well. Remember his panty hose ad with Farrah Fawcett?
Tua Tagovailoa would have put lots of Benjamins in his pocket after his famous 2nd and 26 national championship moment. The guy on the other end of that play, Devonta Smith, would have been a great spokesman for any company during his Heisman campaign last year.
Many guys reach their money-making potential at the end of their college careers. Devonta was probably one of those guys.
Do companies come calling mid-season? Pardon me Mr. Saban but we need to fly Devonta to LA this week to cut a commercial. I'd love to be in on that conversation.