During his press conference at Big Ten Media Days on Friday, Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano was asked about the recent change for student-athletes now being able to benefit from their name, image and likeness. Schiano supports the decision by the NCAA that went into effect on July 1.
“I think it’s a great thing for our student-athletes,” said Schiano. “They deserve to be able to make income off of their name and likeness. I agree with that.”
Schiano further explained that he is viewing the change with NIL rights as a new opportunity to develop and prepare his players for outside of football.
“I think the thing that it is even, I wouldn’t say as much, but equally important, it’s a great opportunity for us to educate them, right? We’re injecting them into the free market society,” said Schiano. “There’s so many lessons to be learned.”
Schiano even gave a real life example of how he and his staff are discussing financial matters with the team due to NIL rights. He explained, “Just the other day we had a deep discussion about income tax. I think back to when I was 19 or 20 years old. I didn’t understand income tax. I mean, wait a minute, that dollar, I don’t actually get to keep that whole dollar?”
He continued, “To have that conversation, just to see their eyes, because when NIL became official, we had — and even before — we had a very, very concentrated audience. They wanted to know the facts. And what a great opportunity for all of us as coaches to teach our guys.”
During Schiano’s first tenure at Rutgers, he placed a high value on developing his players on and off the field. This time around it remains a priority and this is another way for him to continue to do that. His ability to use the recent change with NIL rights as a new opportunity to connect and educate his players is a positive in multiple ways. Schiano and his staff are able to better prepare them for life after football and it helps the student-athletes acquire real life experience in an area they likely wouldn’t have gotten previously.
“Again, my whole thing is recruit and develop,” Schiano reiterated. “Recruit the right guys for Rutgers, and then develop them in every area of their life so they can go be the husbands and fathers and successful people in society. Learning all this about finances, about free market and trade, all that stuff, I think it’s great for our student-athletes.”
As for the long term impact that NIL rights for student-athletes will have on collegiate athletics, Schiano said, “I think it’s obviously the big question right now. I think we’re going to learn a lot more in the next 12 to 18 months exactly how it’s going to impact everything.”
In our latest podcast episode, attorney Jason Spiro and I discussed the recent change with NIL rights and much more about the business side of college athletics, as well as how it impacts the future of the NCAA.
It is encouraging and great to know that Schiano is taking such a proactive and positive role within his program to help better prepare his players for life outside of football, both now and in the future.