The new Boston College athletic director Blake James had an interview BC Interruption, a longtime friend to LetsGoDU, regarding Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) legislation. In the interview, James suggested legislation was needed at the federal level to create reasonable standards and guidelines for NIL. He also mentioned that BC will not be encouraging ‘NIL collectives’ which are groups that fundraise with the sole purpose of paying student-athletes under the guise of the new Name, Image & likeness.
That is not to say that Boston College is not participating in the NIL sphere. Prior to the arrival of James, Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers inked a NIL deal in April with McGovern Auto, a local dealership. The company, which is led by Boston College graduates, presented Flowers with a brand new silver X6M BMW with red interior. The car was also equipped with 22-inch black rims and the vehicle’s approximate value is $90,000.
“Well I think each school has to take their own approach.” said James. “And I think, my belief is that we as an institution shouldn’t be involved in that if there’s opportunities for young people to capitalize on their name image and likeness. I recognize that’s where we’ve gone in college athletics and that’s where it’s going to be in the future. And that goes back to my previous comments on the need for some type of federal set-up because from my perspective I don’t think it’s something that we should be talking about, the donors needing to give to these different types of things. To me, we should be talking about legitimate name image and likeness.
“Right now we’re in this period where there isn’t any real set standard. Everyone’s kind of playing by their own set of rules and I think it’s opened up the door to what you’re talking about where you have coaches around the country talking about “We need X amount of dollars from our supporters to be competitive” and that’s kind of a counter to what name image and likeness is really all about.”
BC has decided to address NIL in a relatively hands-off approach. As a respected private college, Boston College must leverage the value proposition of a BC degree to student-athletes instead of facilitated cash payments. However, fellow ACC football conference members Louisville, Florida State, and Clemson are likely to have alumni collectives that are able to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to pay individual athletes. Over time, we will see how BC holds up in this largely unregulated environment. And, of course, NIL is not limited to football.
DU is likely to take a similar approach to BC as will many other private schools. Can they compete? Only time will tell.
Photo: BC Bulletin