You could have probably guessed that Georgia head coach Kirby Smart was going to be asked about Name, Image and Likeness. It’s a hot topic in college sports, with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey calling for federal guidelines when he spoke on Monday.
What you most likely didn’t expect though was that Smart would reveal a conversation he had with rap star and Georgia fan Quavo with regards to the name, image and likeness rule changes.
“The first text I got was two weeks after NIL started, and he said, Coach, please tell the players be selective who they put their brand with. Don’t just do anything,” Smart said. “He used the term “thirsty.” Don’t be thirsty. Be selective in what you do, selective in how you handle your branding.”
Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis told reporters that he didn’t think his head coach could name a single song Quavo had appeared on.
He also gave perhaps the best line anyone has given about NIL to date.
“I’m confused by it, honestly. It’s a lot,” Davis said. “But, yeah, I haven’t really done anything. My main focus is just playing because you can’t get an NIL deal if you’re not good at football. So the main focus is just playing football.”
Davis added that he was grateful for the opportunity to now make money off his own abilities. Smart echoed that sentiment as well.
But the Georgia head coach was also quick to remind people about some of the pitfalls that come with the changes in the laws.
“We No. 1 can’t arrange deals, so our emphasis has been on education,” Smart said. “We spend a lot of time on education. Imagine being an 18, 19, 20, 21-year old young man and you now are going to pay taxes, okay, you have a selection process over what do I do, what don’t I do, and those are big decisions. And then also time management.”
Smart thinks much of the discussion around NIL will settle down once everyone becomes adjusted to the new normal. The Georgia head coach did reveal that parents have frequently asked about Georgia’s own NIL plan for prospective athletes.
Those recruiting questions are part of the reason why Smart would like to also see a federal NIL policy, as opposed to the current set-up where it differs on a state-by-state basis.
“Do you want people making decisions to go to school based on what the state law is,” Smart rhetorically asked. “Or do you want kids making decisions to go to school on what the best education, the best football program. The best decision for their family should not be based on NIL.
A number of players have already struck deals, such as Kendall Milton, Kenny McIntosh, Zamir White, Jack Podlesny and quarterback JT Daniels.
The Georgia quarterback shared his own thoughts on the matter, as he might be one of the most marketable players on the Georgia team.
“I think for me and really a lot of guys that I’ve talked to, being that it came out July 1, it makes it pretty difficult to do anything for it,” Daniels said. “So we’re fully in season mode. I wish I could give you more about NIL, but it’s just not a huge focus for really a lot of people that I’ve talked to.”
There’s still much that is unknown when it comes to how NIL changes will impact the sport. The questions extend far beyond recruiting and the impact on the locker room.
And Davis, one of the biggest personalities on the team, perfectly illustrated the potential and pitfalls that come with these changes.
“The fact that Quavo was talking about NIL just shows you how tremendous this thing is and how easy it is to get deterred from the main goal,” Davis said.
Kirby Smart shares hilarious story with Quavo on Name, Image and Likeness changes
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