Is CU “Not In Line” When It Comes To Using NIL To Its Advantage?

This may not have been as timely as it seemed at the time, but it’s still on topic. This podcast was taped before the USC/UCLA bombshell was dropped that they were leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten. But the issues about CU’s current participation in the brave new world of college football is still quite relevant … 

With this episode, Brad Geiger and Neil Langland return to the podcast. We will be getting to our Pac-12 preview and our Fall Camp analysis in short order, but we wanted to do a free flowing episode on the status of Name, Image and Likeness at the University of Colorado.

Athletic director Rick George recently met with the CU Board of Regents, and some of his quotes are disconcerting to some members of the Buff Nation.

“One thing that we’re not going to do”, George said, “Is we’re not going to induce student-athletes to attend here, we’re not going to tamper with student-athletes and we’re not going to have boosters involved in the recruiting process and other areas” … even while other schools are having no problems with any of the above.

Can CU wait for the NCAA to enforce its rules? … Is it possible for Colorado to stick to its principles – and still be competitive? … What are the odds that this is the beginning of the move in college football to a semi-pro league of the 24-36 teams which are willing to pay to compete? … Are college football programs left in a position of “adapt or die” – with CU being left behind? …

… Let’s find out …


The CU at the Game NIL Interview series is complete, but that doesn’t mean you missed your chance to listen to your favorite Buffs talk about the upcoming season. Here is the roster of interviews conducted this spring, with links to each interview …

CU at the Game 2022 NIL Interviews … Football 

CU at the Game 2022 NIL Interviews … Other Sports 

Below is Episode 26 of Season 3 for the CU at the Game Podcast. You can listen to the podcast simply by clicking on the play button below, or listen it to it here at Buzzsprout, or at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, IHeartRadio … or wherever you find your podcasts!

12 Replies to “CUATG Podcast: Is CU “Not In Line” When It Comes To Using NIL To Its Advantage? ”

  1. Again, #18 DMV with all the Professional Leagues in the market. There’s a reason why the NFL has a population cap for a city to have an NFL team. Except, Greenbay as this obviously pre-dates TV/Cable. There are certain brands in CFL like college football who draw so many eyeballs that it doesn’t matter that it’s a small market. The Packers Rate and certain CFL teams draw ratings as well. The guys at ESPN, FOX no exactly which teams in small markets rate. Sports is regional, you’re much more likely to follow your local team unless you’ve up and moved from a different part of the country. The 2 Super Conferences and likely 3rd Super Conference knows this. Advertisers know this. ESPN and Fox certainly know this, they need Denver market. For one, they can cross promote other games on their air. As Denver has NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS this represents a lot of content on their air an ancillary programming that supports it (i.e. College Game Day on ESPN or Sunday NFL Countdowns). The networks and cable providers need the Denver Market. It’s DMV alone tells the suits crunching the numbers they need this market. Not to mention all the other programming on their air they can promote. The Buffs are not on the outside looking in. The Broncos have an avid fan base, NFL and CFL have the highest crossover between sports viewers. Buffs need to hang tight, in theory and reality Advertisers and TV need them not the other way around. Now someone please go back to NiKe and see if we can’t get Phil to move Nike Campus to Boulder., because Eugene as a market doesn’t really cut it, he can continue to support the Ducks and have his satellite campus there. The top runners in the World are based in Colorado, Running is Phil’s true passion project. I assure you Rick George is still vehemently pissed at the egg heads of Boulder academia who bypassed Nikes offer back in the day. Again, it’s still not too late to go back and see if we can’t reach an agreement or if Phil still has an interest. Knowing Phil’s true passion and the reality of Denver versus Portland market… it make sense for the Swoosh

  2. Stu-
    I’ll admit, I’ve been very frustrated with George’s “Do it the right way” excuse for inaction on NIL, but I recently have a new take on the scenario.
    The $ that’s being thrown around other programs right now is silly and unsustainable. Quite simply, we’re in a “bubble” market for athlete (i won’t use “student-athlete”) contracts right now. With very few exceptions, booster $ is a finite resource. All these NIL deals are literally stomping on the toothpaste tube of future donations. Soon, many of these programs will suffer from chronic halotosis as their boosters’ budgets run dry.
    Perhaps….RG and crew are taking the long view and are realistic about the relatively shallow pockets of CU donors. Perhaps its better to let the NIL bubble burst and then make a push for sustainable improvement?

  3. Please identify the players at CU who didn’t attend class. When you were in ar-kansas you were how old?

    Certainly there were some.

    How many?

    A few, a lot, not so many or what?

    The world around college football is to be ignored.

    CU is going its own way and I believe it is the right way.
    Let the others do what they want. Stay away.

    It is all gonna work out just fine where CU is a class act institution with an
    excellent sports program

    As I have stated before, CU football is a fun part of my life but it does not rule my life.

    I am glad all this crap is happening.

    CU will end up where it is supposed to be go onward as before

    Roll Ralphie Roll

  4. We should play College Football. Not tier 2 NFL football. If the other schools just want to pay players, gut academic standards, and make it all about 80k person stadiums in the middle of nowhere thats fine by me. We can’t compete at that and we should not even try. It is a game we don’t want to win.

    Let us get back to real student athletes, lets get back to academics and representing your school instead of your school representing you.

    We should do what is best for all of our student athletes, not just the sports that allegedly “make money” but actually exist to create the illusion that we will ever be able to compete with programs who place Football above ALL ELSE.

    Maybe we get off the treadmill? Stop trying to raise $100Ms for a new facility every couple years. Instead of chasing after money and fame and super conferences. Instead lets chase after tradition, integrity, and excellence. You can’t buy any of these.

    1. I have been saying for years now, ever since schools like Texas started their own networks, and teams like Baylor purchased a power program (while ignoring huge amount of sexual assaults and lawlessness by its football and basketball teams), or “Liberty” “University” buys an entire D1 program, and entire video game franchises about college football went extinct literally overnight when the Northwestern Players won the initial NIL lawsuit. I’ve been saying that the money power would never let college football stay as it was.

      Now, here we are, all but those 24-36 “elite” (mostly rich donors and weak school admin) programs are being priced out of meaningful competition by the Phil Knights and T. Boone Pickens types and by the massive $$$ contracts. I’ve always felt that unleashing the money power like this would inevitably lead to a two tier college football system, NFL Lite, and the rest of us.

      I can’t imagine college football surviving as a sport without either stuffing the money genie back in the bottle (good luck, $ is the only god in sight these days) OR by “losing” the NFL Lite teams to their own semi-pro, but still technically scholastic league.

      I dont have the answers. But this doesnt feel like a sport any more. I dont see how it can be when teams can routinely expect to play against a team with a hundred times their budget. And thats BEFORE the absurdly huge NIL contracts that sometimes are being awarded for 16 and 17 year olds. As if a free education in a country with 1.5 TRILLION dollars in student debt isnt compensation, lol.

  5. I know this won’t be a popular viewpoint, but they’ve already got football up at CU where the players are amateurs. It’s called intramurals. It’s not about Rick George, the NCAA, the conferences, or anybody else. The courts have decided that the players deserve a cut of the value they generate and I kind of think they do too. The CU athletic budget is something like $95 million per year and some of the highest paid employees in the state are paid from that pool. There are many more professional non-athletes that make their living from that. Where does that $95 million go? Think of the money that is collected by the NCAA, sports books, all of the media people that cover college sports, etc. Is this really amateur athletics? You can’t really have a multi billion dollar “amateur” industry.

    If the Buffs had a QB that was good enough to get them bowl eligible, win a conference championship, or a national championship how much would that guy be worth to the school? It probably doesn’t matter now anyway because CU has been relegated. The question is how many levels down?

  6. I’m tired of what has happened with college football. Frankly I’d rather CU be a school where student athletes want to go and not be a minor league program like the schools in the B1G or SEC. I know that plenty of college football players over the years have attended school simply to play ball and didn’t care about school, but I’d like to see that mindset go away. I really believe there should be a minor league that plays in the spring. I realize I’m asking for a pipe dream but to me the direction we are going is killing the fun of college football to me.

    1. Agreed. College football has lost a lot of what made it fun to me as well. With the unlimited transfers, the unregulated influence peddling disguised as compensation (which, as usual, never benefits the walk ons or the hog mollies in the trenches), and the ever widening budgetary gap between the haves and the vast majority of the rest of us…its not a sport. Or, at least, it works its ass off to stack the deck for the “elite” programs who love to act like they dont need help to win lol while raking in cash in the back office like they just got done dealing a fistful of “balloons” in the alley behind the Denny’s.

  7. Thank goodness for Rick George. I’m so tired of so-called fans wanting CU to join the horde of those “college football is the most important thing in the world to me” folks who are willing to lie, cheat and steal so that their team can have an advantage.

    “Come on… everyone else is doing it!” seems like a shallow rationalization for doing things you know are wrong. My interest in following CU in specific and college football in general is already waning due to this “pay the players millions of dollars” nonsense.

    Miami quarterback just signed a $9 MILLION NIL deal. Who decides if the guy starts? The head coach or the boosters paying the QB? Who decides when to fire a coach? The school or the boosters? I’ll pass, thanks.

    The only reason I have any interest left whatsoever is that Colorado is my alma mater and also where I work. But my interest in college football is due to my love of amateur athletic competition. That’s why I coached high school kids… for the love of competition and the life skills sports allowed them to learn under the right circumstances.

    It was a simpler time certainly. It was long before the legal gambling industry could manipulate the scores and become the dominant advertisers on both radio and TV broadcasts.

    I like professional sports a great deal. They are one of my favorite pastimes. But I used to LOVE college athletics because of the time and commitment to required to be both a college student and a competitive college athlete. Those are things I was and did and appreciated what I learned.

    Nowadays, across much of the country, most of those competing in the big money sports at the football and basketball factories around the country do not even attend classes. It’s a joke. Too much money is at stake for players to be declared “ineligible” because they are not keeping up with their classwork. So the result was that at many universities, whose primary mission is supposed to be education, football and basketball players are now just employees.

    If I am going to support professional athletes, it’s going to be those who have earned it and made it to the “BIGS” in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer or whatever.

    Several “fans” on this site love to point out how “unfair” it is that college football and basketball players are are not sharing in the wealth of college athletics. I’ll tell you what, try working and paying your way through college. Try buying your own food and paying for your housing. Try actually going to class. Find out what it’s like to have a degree and be $200K in debt. To the schools that diminish whatever prestige as a learning institution they ever had, shame on you for needing diplomas with an asterisk for the football and basketball players.

    The NFL and NBA should just have minor leagues like baseball and leave higher education system alone. But it’s too hard for schools to turn down the money, so they sell their souls a little more each day with the rationalization that everyone else is doing it.

    Not me. Thanks. And thanks to Rick George for fighting it as well. Just because the NCAA is willing to let college football self destruct does not mean I should buy into it. And there will be no more money from me. And I know lots of folks feel just like I do. Be careful what you wish for or you will surely get it.

    Mark / Boulderdevil

    1. I don’t disagree with a lot that you said, Mark. But CU Football players didn’t attend classes when I was there, 88-93. And in 1964 in Fayetteville Arkansas, they didn’t really either. And professors were presssured to pass them anyway. Even if they couldn’t read nor write coherently. So there is that. Don’t make it right, but been that way for a long time. As evidenced by broke former multi millionaire athletes all over the place.

      And that is where places like CU can make a difference.

      Not by ignoring the world around them.

      Go Buffs

      1. Eric,
        I graduated in ’89. I saw players in class and on campus every day. I don’t know why you didn’t. Not sure about the reference to Arkansas before you were born.
        Lots of things happen around me every day that I don’t partake in. I’m not going to support a collapsing sports model just because lots of people want me to.
        The gambling industry is counting on people to gamble (and lose money doing it). The broadcast system is counting on me to watch and be subjected to the advertising.
        Well, sorry, but I am telling you and them that I’m not buying the drug that they are selling.
        As for CU, I hope Stefano and George both know it’s a big lie that football “brings” money to the university. It brings money to a bloated football system, that’s all.
        How about if we impose a 40% education “fee” on those giving NIL $ to college students. For every $1000 being paid out, $400 has to go to the academic scholarship fund. That should be the fee required for the impact to the university and its students. It’s the one thing that might save college football from the short sighted greed that is killing it.

        1. Yo Mark, out of 105 guys, not all blew off school. Also, you may have seen CU before it was an NFL factory. I can only speak from my experiences there. Had classes with a few nfl dudes. They only showed up to drop off papers. One asked me to read theirs, before turning it in. I could be wrong, but it didn’t appear to me he wrote it.

          As to 1964 in Fayetteville Arkansas? You’re right. I wasn’t born til 1970 in Blacksburg va. My brother was born in Fayetteville in 1964, while my dad was a professor there. Any idea who won the 1963 national championship?

          My dad also taught at virginia tech, John’s Hopkins, and wazzu from the early sixties until 1988. Guess which place was the only one where he wasn’t pressured to pass football players who couldn’t read and write coherently, let alone show up for class?

          My point is that “student athlete” in the major sports basically quit being a thing when the Ivy League didn’t dominate anymore. Yes, I am being somewhat facetious, and there are exceptions, but by and large, the current system is just a fully open window into that world. Bag men need no longer hide.

          As to the future of CU football? Who knows? Unless they are relegated to streaming only, I will keep watching. And either way, I will keep supporting my alma mater.

          Gonna be fascinating (hat tip to ed) to watch it evolve.

          Go Buffs

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