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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Mike Leach has radical solution to fix NIL issues

Mike Leach on the sidelines

Oct 2, 2021; College Station, Texas, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach argues a call while playing against the Texas A&M Aggies in the third quarter at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Leach is known for being a bold thinker, both as a coach and as a personality. It’s no surprise then that the Mississippi State coach has a bold plan for how to address the current mess facing college football due to new transfer and Name, Image and Likeness rules.

Leach spoke with SI’s Ross Dellenger about his solution. He thinks the sport needs to differentiate between amateur and professional college athletes. He thinks players should choose which categorization they want, and they will be treated under different rules.

“This should not be a masquerade party of professionals. Are you a professional or are you not?” Leach told Ross Dellenger of SI. “Instead of sitting here and having 17-year-olds lecture everybody that they are professionals, well, let them be professionals. It’s one [amateur] or the other [professional]. Right now, we’ve got this whole mysterious stratosphere of people wiggling all over back and forth.”

For players who categorize themselves as pros, Leach is proposing systems similar to those used by the NFL. That means a player draft, salary cap, trades, and free agency. For those who are amateurs, they can choose where they want to go to school, and they would be eligible to receive a $100,000 bonus upon graduating from the school where they originally signed. These amateurs could transfer, but they would forfeit the bonus.

Both groups of players would have to attend school.

Leach’s proposal is nothing if not creative. A lot of other coaches are forecasting some sort of breakaway division as a result of the changes to the sport. Leach is proposing a solution that would allow both an amateur and professional model.


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