Colorado AD Rick George reportedly has wild solution to NIL inducements
This week, Pac-12 head football coaches and athletic directors gathered together in Arizona for the annual Fiesta Summit alongside league commissioner George Kliavkoff.
According to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, this year’s meeting featured a lengthy discussion about the growing reach of NIL in recruiting, and a solution to try and tamp down on recruiting inducements.
From Feldman’s report:
“At the Pac-12 meeting Tuesday, several coaches told The Athletic that they were pleased to hear how Colorado AD Rick George addressed the biggest issue head on and told the league’s coaches and his fellow athletic directors his suggestion to the NCAA: that the conference would search coaches’ phone records to investigate whether there were inducements to players being discussed with the threat of the schools and the coaches being fined and punished. If Pac-12 leadership finds out a coach has a burner phone, he’s already guilty.
Several coaches in the room have had frustrations with what they see as egregious violations they hear are taking place with the collectives that have been springing up. “You can’t provide inducements — that’s pay for play,” said one coach. “The (NCAA’s) booster rule is that once you’re defined as a booster, you’re a booster for the rest of your life, and if you are a booster, you’re not allowed to give inducements. That’s 100 percent illegal. That’s not a gray area. Boosters aren’t supposed to be having contact with players. That rule hasn’t changed. (George) also went off about how if you have a tiered (NIL) system, that’s pay for play, and I looked around the room and a few people were squirming.”
Feldman’s report makes no mention of USC or coach Lincoln Riley, but the Trojans have come under intense scrutiny recently for what Pitt officials feel was tampering with Panther wideout Jordan Addison.
Most of the reporting on Addison prior to his official entry into the portal on Tuesday was that USC was a likely frontrunner to land his services. Riley has taken considerable heat from the public as accusations of tampering were tossed around and USC was alleged to have offered the star wideout a large NIL package. USC has no centralized NIL collective group.
Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi reportedly called Riley multiple times last Friday to “express his displeasure” over the situation.
It has also been reported that Oregon, who landed 5-star 2022 offensive lineman Josh Conerly Jr. in a surprise late push to overtake USC last month, was able to close the deal with a reportedly large NIL package.