Lindsey Graham has been a South Carolina elected official since 1993, holding one of the football-crazed state's United State Senate seats since 2003. He doesn't seem to have a great grasp on college football, even with the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks playing in his backyard.
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee is discussing the ongoing debate over collegiate Name, Image, and Likeness rules. Some states are proposing laws that would force the NCAA's hand in allowing players to profit while in college. There is significant momentum in that direction in the last few years.
California, Colorado, and Florida all have passed NIL laws that would allow players to profit as soon as next summer. It is pretty important for some sort of national rule to come into place. It might help if the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsey Graham, had a general base of knowledge around the realities of major college sports.
It has become clear that that is not the case. A few college sports reporters are tweeting live about the ongoing discussions from the committee. Graham just doesn't seem to know much about how any of this works.
Obviously, this is just naive. While some want to pretend as if there isn't a ton of evidence pointing to existing under-the-table payment for top recruits and players, that just isn't the case. Guys are already being paid. Passing an NIL rule would provide a more open process for it to happen, even if it doesn't totally cut down on the backroom dealing around top recruits.
However, this is way, way worse.
Just about every coach fired from a major school at this point collects a big buyout check for his effort. There are few things in this country more lucrative than getting fired as an FBS head coach. He doesn't even have to look outside of his own state for an upcoming example.
It is good that Congress is finally bringing this issue to the table, and that real reform appears to be pretty imminent. It is not good that someone who has so little knowledge of the economics of college football, like Lindsey Graham, has a major role in it.
Sen. Lindsey Graham presiding over the Senate NIL hearing: "We cannot have a bidding war for recruits."
Who wants to tell him?
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) July 22, 2020