Fair enough. I get your concernsIt is impossible to tell at this point, in part because how people view college athletics and how much they are willing to donate at all could be affected. Up until now the donations were seen as helping amateur athletes. You don't see boosters for professional sports, not simply because it would violate their various cap rules and such but because it just doesn't make sense to donate money to compensated professionals. So, we really have no idea where this will go in terms of the billions college athletics are given annually.
That's partially true, it's one reason that semi-pro football always fails. The actual worth of most of these athletes on the open market really isn't that high, it's the loyalty to the school the funds this machine. Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel were worth a tremendous amount while in college, more then they've proven to be worth as professional athletes. That is due to the loyalty and enthusiasm for college sports.
However, that's not the only thing I'm getting at here in terms of the NIL system. If the school for instance was paying a player, they could look at their bottom line and figure out pay commensurate with what the player is contributing. They could look at the revenue, say ok we're selling this many tickets, we have this much in TV revenue, and we think this player is worth X amount of that.
Due to the way NIL works and is being predictably abused, what people are being paid has nothing to do with any of that. The 25K interviews were as good an example as I could think of. I am fairly certain 25,000 people didn't even read those interviews, the money had nothing to do with actual worth of anything, just how much someone wanted to pay to make them happy. That's the issue here, it's based on the corrupt system of enticing players and corrupt behavior from boosters.
Before there was an effective salary cap because you couldn't pay a player more than you could hide, so it was kept fairly reasonable. Now though? There is no cap, there is no limit, it's kind of like if you could openly bribe politicians (it is obviously less ethically dubious but it's still paying players to do what you want them to do). I would add that the notion that these NIL deals are not coming with strings attached is as absurd as the notion that these NIL deals really were going to be NIL deals. Of course there are strings attached, it's just a matter of being clever enough to attach the strings correctly.
At this point it's not even about what should or shouldn't happen. It's just about understanding what is happening.
But wouldn't a salary cap be the opposite of a free market