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Brian Kelly Makes His Thoughts On Athlete Employment Status Very Clear

LSU head coach Brian Kelly.

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 01: Brian Kelly takes a question from a reporter during a news conference after being introduced as the head coach of the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on December 01, 2021 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

With the NIL process opening Pandora's Box with unintended consequences, the NCAA is searching for a way to regulate the process.

One way is by simply paying players directly as employees. This way there's no need for boosters to infiltrate the recruiting process through the guise of NIL endorsements or under-the-table offers.

Brian Kelly doesn't like the solution. Rather, he told Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated that players wouldn't like that answer.

“I don’t think they want contracts," Kelly said. "I don’t think they want to be traded. I’m sure they don’t wanna be cut.”

LSU made Kelly the highest-paid coach at a public university when signing him to a 10-year, $95 million deal. He probably likes that contract just fine.

It's a questionable argument, as players can already get run off teams or have their scholarships revoked. Paying players also doesn't mean the NCAA needs to (or should) open a formal trading window.

Perhaps programs wouldn't have as much money to give head coaches if players started receiving a piece of the pie.