If you haven’t already heard the news, NIL is coming to the University of Kentucky.
In a press conference Friday afternoon, athletics director Mitch Barnhart addressed some questions surrounding the impact that the new NIL rules will have at Kentucky.
There is one statement from the Kentucky Athletic Director that stands out amongst the rest.
Barnhart stresses importance of locker room harmony, e.g., one teammate not getting jealous of another for their NIL deal. Says UK will be focusing on that.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) June 25, 2021
NIL is about to change the way college sports as we know it. Players across social media have already started to put themselves out there for different brand opportunities, and it seems that when July 1st gets here, it will be a madhouse trying to figure out all that comes with it.
This is very good for the players, but these comments from Barnhart don’t seem to show much excitement about the change that is coming.
Many people would agree that college sports will always be a relationship business. Coaches and players will always have to connect on some level. That level may have just gotten a little slimmer, though.
Mitch, are you excited about NIL?— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) June 25, 2021
Kentucky is going to be one of the schools to benefit most from these rules. With the branding that comes from Kentucky basketball, the growing momentum in Kentucky football, volleyball winning a national title, and both women’s basketball and softball being competitive each season, the university has made its stamp across their respective sports. What that leads to is recruits knowing the opportunities that could be in front of them when it comes to money they could potentially earn.
The big takeaway from this presser is this is completely uncharted waters, and Barnhart isn’t hiding his unease with it. No one knows exactly how this will play out, but this is good for college athletics.
With John Calipari and Mark Stoops ready to get rolling with the new rules, now the athletics department needs its leader to help navigate the best way to take advantage of this.