The NIL era is less than a year old and it is clear that the recruitment of college athletes has taken a sharp turn down a chaotic road. On the other hand, college recruiting was never considered a Gentleman’s Sport.
NFL alum Matt Schaub, who played quarterback for 4 teams over a 17-year career, is one of many former players who have deep concerns over the impact that the college transfer portal and the new-found NIL system will have on their university alma maters.
“I just don’t see the NIL (Names Images & Likenesses) period being sustained without some sort of regulations out there,” says Schaub, a 2004 graduate of the University of Virginia. “There needs to be a governing body, whether it’s the NCAA or the conferences. Somehow, someway, there’s got to be some guardrails to what’s allowed. If not, you’re going to see some of these schools just getting players because they have the biggest NIL package. I think it could go south real quick.”
Schaub was a third-round pick of the Falcons in 2004. He later played for the Texans, Raiders, and Ravens before spending the last five years of his career back in Atlanta. He retired after the 2020 season.
The 40-year-old Pittsburgh native recently joined the Advisory Board for Cavalier Futures, an organization of concerned Virginia Cavaliers alumni who are providing a marketplace for student-athletes to monetize themselves in this NIL period. The group also wants to allow prospective sponsors to engage with the students in compliance with current and future University, NCAA and government policies.
“I feel we can really empower and benefit our student-athletes to realize their value and bring that to the forefront in the right way,” says Schaub. “We want our young men and women to not just make some money but also give them the skills for when they get out of the University and get into the real world. We want them to make some business connections out there in whatever environment they want to work in or find themselves.”
NFL alumni such as Matt Schaub, Oliver Luck, and several others are working on their college campuses to guide all those involved through the uncertain waters ahead.
We at NFL Alumni will keep you updated on this developing issue.