Final Four Panel: The Arms Race Of NIL

During the Men’s Basketball Final Four in New Orleans, Teamworks, INFLCR and TopConnect hosted a panel to discuss the current landscape of NIL in collegiate athletics and what it might look like a year from now. Amongst the panel was Texas A&M Athletic Director Ross Bjork, former Florida A&M Athletic Director Kortne Gosha, Auburn Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bruce Pearl and INFLCR Founder Jim Cavale.

Panel Highlights

3:08 – Ross Bjork, Athletics Director, Texas A&M discusses “buckets” of NIL activity, including collectives, “[One surprise]…we haven’t seen as much social media activity among our student-athletes…”

9:17 – Bruce Pearl, Head Coach, Men’s Basketball, Auburn sees NIL as another arms race, “We’re seeing it more in recruiting than on our team…it’s a good thing.” 

11:22 – More from Bruce Pearl believes NIL experts are at a premium, provides advice on how to get ahead, “If I was a young assistant coach, I’d get really caught up [on] NIL.”

14:58 – Kortne Gosha – former VP and Director of Athletics, FAMU believes collectives are a positive for NIL, forming to “attack the gap” and institutions need to “double down on the education.”

18:29 – Ross Bjork reminds us how new this is, entire industry still trying to figure [NIL] out. Indicates possibility of collectives becoming NIL rights holders.

21:02 – Kortne Gosha indicates it’s hard to determine total market value, points back to the importance of how schools position their brand and put student-athletes in a position to be successful in competition to optimize NIL.

26:49 – Ross Bjork discusses differences in male and female student-athlete NIL activity “Right now at Texas A&M…we’re trying to help our female student-athletes get more exposure, develop their brand…right now, the marketplace isn’t saying that it will support the female student-athlete.”

33:41 – More real talk from Coach Pearl on recruiting impact of NIL, jokes that social following coming from Auburn fan base matters more to prospect than sales pitch.

34:35 – INFLCR Founder Jim Cavale serves up hypothetical for panel, “What does NIL look like one year from now?” Great insights from all three panelists. 

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