More college sports keeps things fun

College sports continue changing the longer Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) deals have been permitted, allowing college teams to recruit more openly and with large amounts of money involved.

The numbers thrown around for NIL deals, in the millions for top football, basketball, and gymnastic stars, among others, are another glimpse into the money in college athletics. Paired with the coaches’ contracts, stadium expansions, television deals, and other contracts in the sports, NIL deals show that college sports are just as profitable as their non-amateur counterparts.

The NIL deals have made college recruiting even more of a spectacle in the process, turning it into an entertainment industry of sorts for fans and media members. The recruiting news now consumes the offseason for football and basketball teams and has even taken precedence over things such as spring games for SEC football teams, several of which did not play spring football on broadcast television in 2024 for the first time in years.

While we are losing spring games, the NCAA is also expanding its College Football Playoff (CFP) in 2024, from four teams to 12 teams, and considering several different expansion packages for the NCAA Tournament (also known as March Madness).

The result of all this is college programs staying in the news cycle year-round, instead of just for a few months during their season.

If college teams weren’t paying athletes while talking about expanding and recruiting, things would be different. However, with the money present in college sports and how few athletes do turn professional at high-paying levels, I say bring on the extra college games and money for athletes.

Fans love it, media members love it, and it continues to create a larger and more enjoyable—even if chaotic at times—product.

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