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041622 Athens: Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during the G - Day game at Sanford Stadium Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Athens, Ga. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Lamborghini NIL Deals? Kirby Smart, Deion Sanders agree extremes challenge college football

Kirby Smart and Deion Sanders seem to agree on one thing when it comes to NIL deals: Enough is enough.

Smart, appearing on the Paul Finebaum Show on the SEC Network last week, said “it would be nice to be able to give each one something, but not make it out of control that it affects the game.

“I think that’s hard to do, it’s hard to manage because every situation is different, ever player is different.”

“When you start paying athletes like they’re professionals, you get athletes acting like they’re professionals,” Sanders said in a Fox News story.

“And you don’t have staffs large enough and equipped enough to handle a young man with money. Let me go deeper, handle a young man that’s making more money than some of the coaches on staff. You got a real problem.”

Smart suggested the problem of an athlete making too much money via NIL deals extends into recruiting and retaining players, too.

“I just want to make sure that the game stays at a point where we can control it,” Smart said.

“I’m all for the players, we’ve had a lot of players getting opportunities with Name Image Likeness,” Smart said.

“I would just like it where a decision isn’t based on where I’m going to the highest bidder, and if we could control that some kind of way, it would be much better.”

Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh famously wrote after the court sided with student-athletes in the Alston Case that the “NCAA is not above the law” and that “price-fixing labor is … a textbook anti-trust problem because it extinguishes the free market …”

Indeed, that would seem akin to schools having a salary cap for their head coaches.

The NIL challenges are among several topics that SEC coaches and athletic directors are expected to address at the league’s spring meetings later this month.

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