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SALOMON: CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT DOES NOT TRANSLATE TO MORE MONEY FOR STUDENT ATHLETES


The last 48 hours have seen top schools with great athletic programs, agree to run from their conferences that they have been a part of for many years, to a conference that is supposedly going to pay them more money.


The universities did it in the name of the mighty dollar. Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah have left the PAC-12 for the Big XII, leaving the PAC-no-longer-12 scrambling to see if they can have a full schedule in 2024. USC and UCLA already announced that they were leaving for the greener grass in the Big 10.


More money for the schools, the athletic program, and especially the non-revenue sports that count on football for their entire budget. You can probably also count on new contracts for head coaches and athletic directors, but someone is being left out of the cash grab.


The student-athletes

Everyone will get a piece of the pie except for the student-athletes that actually earn the money for their schools. You would think that the schools would write a bigger check to the NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) collective at their schools with this newfound wealth.


Do not count on it. They cannot do it. It would be "pay-for-play", which is prohibited.


Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner James Phillips, Ph.D. talked about it last week at the ACC Media Days in Charlotte.


"First, NCAA regulations currently prohibit inducements and pay-for-play. These restrictions must be addressed via a robust national enforcement effort, to the extent possible within current state NIL laws," Phillips said. "Second, NCAA regulations currently prohibit boosters from engaging in the recruitment of prospects. The reports of booster engagement in recruiting through collectives and other efforts through the label of NIL are widespread. I will repeat, I strongly and the conference strongly support student-athletes ability to monetize their name, image, and likeness through endorsement contracts, social media opportunities, and other legitimate NIL activities. Payments by boosters tied to attendance at a specific institution are not legitimate NIL activity."


University of Colorado head football coach Deion Sanders hit the nail on the head when talking to Sports Illustrated earlier today. He expressed his frustrations and his feelings on the subject and showed what the realignment is all about. Colorado is jumping back to the Big XII in 2024 and they will get a substantial raise in revenue.


"All this is about money, you know that. It’s about a bag, everybody’s chasing the bag. Then you get mad at the players when they chase it." Sanders said to SI " “How is that? How do the grownups get mad at the players when they chase it, when the colleges are chasing it?”


Coach Prime's alma mater, Florida State University, is a member of the ACC. Rumors are abundant that they are leaving the ACC and are negotiating a buyout at press time. FSU president Richard McCullough said on Wednesday to Deadspin that money is the biggest factor.


"Staying in the ACC under the current situation is hard for us to figure out how we remain competitive unless there was a major change in the revenue distribution within the conference," McCullough said. "That has not happened. Those discussions are ongoing at all times."


McCullough could care less that Jared Verse, a defensive lineman on the Seminoles and a projected first-round pick, did not forego his senior season and jump to the NFL. He decided to come back and not chase the big bag of cash that is waiting for him. McCullough does not pay him any money for doing so as he cannot confer a benefit to the player under NCAA rules.


All McCullough cares about is showing FSU the money.


“I believe that FSU will have to, at some point, consider very seriously leaving the ACC — unless there was a radical change to the revenue distribution,” McCullough said at a meeting of the Seminoles’ Board of Trustees on Wednesday.


With conference realignment, the rich get richer and the student-athletes continue to get snubbed.

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