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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Nonnewaug freshman baseball player Ashton Elsemore bats during an April 8 game against Shepaug. Elsemore and most baseball players do not travel for spring break because the team has games and practices that week. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
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Kelly Farrell, a junior tennis player at Nonnewaug, prepares before a match against Wamogo on April 1. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
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Freshman Elliana Obolewicz runs during a track meet last week. (Courtesy of NHS Track and Field/Instagram)
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From right to left; Kaylee Jackson, Arabella Rosa, Christopher Pelletier, Lana Manganello, and Karisa Cizauskas setting up their new saltwater aquariums and learning how to control their coral lighting.
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NHS Dramas production of Once Upon a Mattress runs April 11-13 in the NHS auditorium. (Conor Gereg)
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Casbarro: NIL is Tearing Apart College Sports

Ben Hershey – Unsplash
College sports is something that people will always have interest in and enjoy. However, balancing the financial side of college athletics is a delicate balance between fairness and amateurism.

WOODBURY – Sports, such an exciting word, something that almost everyone has a connection to. This term can range from chess to football. At that, the popularity of today’s sports means athletes can make money, a lot of money. With salaries now distributed to younger athletes, some crucial laws have passed which makes recruiting and player satisfaction a lot harder to execute in the world of college sports. 

Student athletes for years have been making colleges money and over time people have been arguing that student-athletes should be getting paid for what they do. With college sports being a billion dollar business, shouldn’t the performers earn a slice of the financial pie? 

However, this comes with the change in how the whole college sports world works, which can be a big negative for a lot of reasons. 

“I think it’s harmful because it changed the way recruiting works, it’s now similar to free agency,” said NHS senior student-athlete and prospective college athlete, Benjamin Roden. “College sports have now become focused around money instead of entertainment, education, and fun.”

How important is NIL, Name Image and Likeness, an acronym that represents student-athlete potential to earn money while playing, in the transfer portal?

According to Tim Parker of Investopedia, the NCAA draws in over $1 billion annually from college basketball, making it the NCAA’s largest source of revenue. (Gene Gallon – Unsplash)

“NIL plays a huge role in transfer portal recruiting,” a basketball coach in the Southeastern Conference said. “Unfortunately, too much in my opinion.” 

One significant reason NIL is becoming a problem in college sports is that players now are solely focused on money. Because high school athletes know these schools have tons of funds contributed by donors and alumni, they are not holding back when it comes to what they are asking. 

According to CBS sports Gary Parrish, when he questioned a large quantity of division one basketball coaches about what athletes are looking for when it comes to financials, these basketball coaches noted the new demands of today’s student-athletes: an enormous percentage (40.4%) of athletes were looking for around $200,000 and $300,000, with even (11.7%) asking for more than $400,000. 

Numbers like this are even discussed upon the smaller mid-major schools, which have a lot less funds and resources compared to a high major school.

“We have (at the mid-major level] been asked for as little as $30,000, and for as much as $400,000, [for a transfer,” said anonymous men’s basketball division one coach to Parrish.

However, according to Quinnipiac men’s basketball Graduate Assistant Nolan Meehan, NIL has not trickled down to the mid-major level. 

“We are developing those [funds for NIL] but not every school is going to have the ability to offer kids much, if any,” said Meehan. “So having any sort of NIL or fund in place, gives schools an advantage for players in both recruiting and retention.”

Quinnipiac’s Nolan Meehan has been around all levels of college ball, being a team manager for Villanova from 2016-2020. He has seen it all when it comes to NIL. 

While schools like Quinnipiac have yet to see the impact of NIL at their level, these programs still cover the cost of tuition, room and board, and other associated costs with attending college. For a school like Quinnipiac, these costs can total over $72,740 annually. 

Meehan says he has seen a sufficient difference in NIL working at both a high and low major level, noting,  “[High major schools like Villanova] have a huge donor and alumni pool to work with, so they get a lot of people giving money to support the team,” said Meehan. “Here [Quinnipiac] because of the lack of continuity with the coaching and the less-than rich alumni pool, you don’t have many people wanting to donate.”

 Will sums of money sap the spirit from college athletics? It’s possible. 

“Yes, if they [the NCAA] don’t change the rules; I think it’ll continue to become a money game instead of players loving the game,” said Roden. “They go where the money is.”

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