Gene Smith Misses the Mark, Again

The California bill that introduced paying college players for their likeness has caused quite a stir. When it was only California and the bill was for 2023, it was easy to scoff at and push the idea down the road. But almost immediately more states started to follow suit. Gene Smith gave his opinion on the situation and it isn’t exactly what you want to hear.

“My concern with the California bill — which is all the way wide open with monetizing your name and your likeness — is it moves slightly towards pay-for-play,” Smith said, “and it’s very difficult for us — the practitioners in this space — to figure out how do you regulate it. How do you ensure that the unscrupulous bad actors do not enter that space and ultimately create an unlevel playing field? “

Via ESPN

On the surface this would seem like a fair comment and Smith is looking out for the best interest of the kids. but these “unscrupulous bad actors” already exsist in college football.

It’s strange that we still pretend like boosters don’t pay the elite players coming out of high school. These kids arriving on campus with an $80,000 dollar car and no investigation ensues? Everyone is cheating and the top of the college football talent gets paid.

My biggest issue with Gene Smith and his negativity towards it is the fact that it is likely happening anyway. When it was just California it wasn’t really an issue. Maybe we lose USC but I’m sure they could work something out and we could live without San Jose State. But now Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina and others are jumping on board. What started as an interesting but unlikely story is gaining momentum and at a rapid pace.

It is just like legalizing medical marijuana, you may not like it but the it is going to happen. There needs to be some regulation but these kids deserve to make money off of their name. For those worried about boosters just buying players, they already are. But we can also see that while it is obvious advantage, it doesn’t kill the competition. Wisconsin has nine players that were a four or five star in high school, nine. Everyone else in the top 10 has somewhere between 40 and 70 players on their roster that were rated four or five stars. Talent only gets so far with poor coaching, ask Tennessee.

While Gene Smith can’t stay out of his own way, Ryan Day handled everything the right way.

“I understand that it’s very complex, and I think that it’s an exciting issue for student-athletes,” Day said. “I’m interested to see where it goes and the talks that happen. I do definitely think that there’s opportunity out there for these guys, but at the same time, it’s not that easy. There’s a history of college football that’s been around for a long time, and I know everybody’s sensitive to not turn that off onto a bad road.”

Via ESPN

Day said a whole lot of nothing. Didn’t really take a stand on either side and admitted it is a complicated situation. The reason this is the right way is the fact that you don’t know what is going to happen. Support the kids, don’t piss off the fans and you’ll be fine. Gene Smith is telling everyone in interviews that he is against it but doesn’t have the final say. Smith is on a committee to research paying for likeness but he also is giving his findings to the NCAA at the end of October. Take a page from your coach and leave it. All you are doing is stamping your mark that you don’t support the kids for something you ultimately don’t have full control over.

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