Audige follows Buie

Well, we all expected this.

Part of the wonderful wild world of NIL is cooperatives raising funds to keep or attract athletes, just where the lines of legality are for the latter is something that has yet to be determined.

If there’s a movement underway to raise funds to keep Boo and Chase at NU, will they be able to outbid the big (and well-funded) dogs?

The West Lot Pirates just interviewed Jacob Schmidt, who runs the TrueNU NIL collective, about NIL support for NU athletes. It’s well worth a listen, with a number of general NIL guardrail items discussed, as well as the NU NIL collective’s structure and mission. It’s well worth a listen.


West Lot Pirates Podcast



I agree, it is well worth listening to (and I’m not normally a big fan of podcasts.)

Jacob seems like the right person to be heading the TrueNU effort, and I think he knows enough about what’s happening at other schools to know where the line is between legal and illegal activities and how to stay on the right side of that line.

Some day there may be a reckoning for those who have crossed that line.

Honestly, I hope there is that day of reckoning. I believe the athletes deserve some pay. But there needs to be structure around how it’s done that the same for all teams.


I suppose the question is who will be the hammer.

I don’t see the NCAA doing it, they’re figuratively quaking in their boots, having been whacked pretty good by the courts in their last several legal battles, with more to come.

Congress?? Naah! (Like far too many issues, they COULD help solve it, but won’t, because there’s no political gains from doing that.)

I think it will continue to get worse until the next big conference realignment.

The B1G-SEC to band together and have a single NFL style TV negotiation.

Once those $ figures are revealed they will then be able to create a salary cap.

I’m not sure the big dogs (OSU, MIchigan, Alabama, Georgia, a few others) will support a salary cap if they feel it would diminish their ability to compete for the championship.

It also means accepting the argument that athletes are employees, which raises a lot of side issues. (Is tuition taxable? Is there a long term and retroactive liability for CTE?)

I agree with the coach of Miami’s team that there needs to be transparency and a database of exactly who is making what and from whom. Will the NCAA make that happen? I have serious doubts unless the new president surprises us.

As good and important as TrueNU is, nonprofits by their nature are limited and the big money comes from corporations and I hope there is a lot of work going on in the commercial opportunities. If we’re in a bidding war, we need commercial opportunities. I hope TrueNU launches a commercial arm sooner rather than later.

Go Cats

Aside from the fact that the NCAA has become a declawed kitten, I’m not sure they’ve got standing to force athletes, much less third parties (like TrueNU or corporations), to disclose their deals. And state laws might get in the way of this, too.

It is worth noting that some schools are doing this voluntarily. I’m told Nebraska has a public database of NIL deals with their athletes in all sports, but I’ve not actually looked at it.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out at NU. Among smaller donors, there are only so many charitable $s in the market. Will alumni give to the school at large AND the athletic department AND to TrueNU? Will TrueNU donations reduce the other two?

Also, I don’t know what to expect from NU’s alumni where the school’s mission is more academically focused than at other schools. Will there be enough $s from alumni who want to “win” to make a difference in NU athletes’ quality?


I think the same names will distribute money across all fronts.

Internships for athletes are a prime example. With NU AON(Pat Ryan) used to provide quite a number and yet he still gave to the school and the athletic department.

Speaking of him he is currently the 2nd richest in Illinois

We divide our donations between athletics and academics, but I don’t like NIL so we wouldn’t contribute to that. During the height of our giving we were contributing to engineering(our school), theatre, club hockey, club triathlon, club synchro skating, football, basketball, and women’s cross country in a normal year. Some years we might miss one of the club sports, theatre, or cross country. Other than engineering we had no history with any of those organizations.

Whether the NCAA has the cojones to do it is the issue. They, in their capacity as arbiter of eligibility have the power todo it by making disclosure a condition of eligibility just like not having a job during school months used to be.

Surely someone would challenge a disclosure requirement. And the NCAA’s record in court of late has been dismal.

Mike Nolan