The college sports world is changing, and that change hit epic proportions this off-season.
After being discussed for a while, the one-time transfer rule came into effect in the spring, essentially creating free agency every off-season. Then, "Name, Image, Likeness" hit, and while the NCAA promised us, it wouldn't turn into "pay for play" or become a "recruiting enticement" within a matter of days... it became pay for play and a recruiting enticement.
Now, we are headed towards a future where players can essentially become free agents at any point in their career, and go to the highest bidder once it happens.
Because of it, one Power 5 head coach got blunt on Wednesday night, telling his boosters: Get ready to pay, or don't expect to compete at the highest level anymore.
That coach is Gary Patterson, and here is what he said at a booster event on Wednesday.
"Everybody lives in the gray area. Everybody in this room lives in the gray area," Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson said, with the quotes coming from Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "The bottom line to it is we’re going to have to live in the gray area if we want to keep up.”
From there he continued, explaining just how much the game has changed, and just how quickly things need to spring into action.
TCU on Thursday announced that it has its own NIL plan, and Patterson says if it doesn't get up and running soon, he could lose a bunch of players this off-season - most to the big, bad SEC.
“We’re going to have to be up and running for my group by the end of November,” Patterson said, “or I have a chance to lose 25, 30 guys. That’s as plain and simple as I can speak of it.”
“There’s five SEC schools calling him and telling him, ‘Here’s what we’ll give you if you come here and not stay at TCU,’ At the end of the day, that’s just real life. If we don’t do anything about it, within a year we lose him.“The rules have changed. There is no wrong anymore."
On the one hand, the comments are just a weeeeee bit dramatic. Call me crazy, but I don't believe that if TCU doesn't come up with a crazy comprehensive booster plan, that they suddenly lose half their roster to the portal - all to higher bidders. It's also worth noting that Patterson plucked two All-Conference players from Memphis in the portal this past off-season, so it's not like things aren't working out well in his favor either.
On the flip side, these of course are the unintended consequences of all these rapid changes to college sports. Tampering has been going on, especially in college basketball for years. While the one-time transfer rule made it a lot easier, believe me, there were plenty of people, in football and basketball, who were well aware of players at the lower level, always ready to drop a hint to a parent or high school coach essentially saying "if he's unhappy where he is, we'll always have a spot for him." It's been going on for years.
Still, this is the new world and Patterson isn't totally wrong either, there's plenty of tampering, with plenty of promises on the other end from the schools that are "recruiting" players right off each other's rosters.
Now, to the people of Fort Worth: Get to work. It's time to write some checks.
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