May 19, 2024

Hugh Freeze gave a pro-player message about NIL contracts on May 8 at the Regions Tradition Pro-Am in Birmingham, stating that prospects should be able to sign contracts similar to his Auburn football coaching contract and pro sports deals.

“I’ve said publicly: You need to bring it to campus, and sign them to a contract just like I sign a contract,” Free freeze stated (via “If they want a one-year contract, that’s wonderful. If they prefer a two-year contract, that’s terrific. But once you sign it, just like when I leave Auburn, someone has to pay Auburn money. And I believe it should be the same way. I believe that would bring a lot more sanity to the situation.”

Freeze may get his wish. According to Yahoo Sports’ Ross Dellenger, Bowl Season director Nick Carparelli is working to bring pay-to-play contracts to the Power 4 levels sooner rather than later.

“Bowl Season director Nick Carparelli told Yahoo Sports in Phoenix that he expects NIL to soon come ‘in-house’ and for athletes to sign binding compensation contracts with schools that will require them to play in bowls and CFP games, eliminating or greatly reducing opt-outs,” writes Dellenger.


A magical experience': Hugh Freeze eager for Auburn debut - Auburn  University Athletics

Auburn football in a position to become recruiting giant if NIL becomes in-house

During a January 31 conversation, Postgame CEO and co-founder Bill Jula revealed to me that schools across the country are already paying players directly. Colorado very certainly secured Deion Sanders’ position as head coach by making Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter two of the highest-paid players in the country. According to Jula, Colorado does not compare to powerhouses such as Texas and Ohio State in terms of recruitability.

Auburn pays its athletes through the On to Victory NIL collective. If/when NIL goes pay-to-play, as Carparelli hopes, the deep coffers of the “Yella Fella,” YellaWood’s Jimmy Rane, could become the most powerful recruiting tool in college football.

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