Broken promises and unrealistic expectations have been part of college football recruiting for as long as coaches have been pitching their programs in living rooms across America.
Opportunities for playing time and a path to the NFL are being peddled, as always, but now potentially lucrative endorsement deals handled by booster-run collectives are also in the mix. There is even more potential for prospects to feel shortchanged after signing a national letter of intent.
When college football's traditional winter signing period opens Wednesday, among the unsigned blue-chippers will be Jaden Rashada. The four-star quarterback from California signed with Florida in December, but asked for and was granted his release after an endorsement agreement with a collective that was potentially worth more than $13 million fell through.
The ill-fated deal between Rashada and the Gator Collective — one that helped persuade him to back off a previous verbal commitment to Miami and a name, image and likeness offer from a collective that works with Hurricanes athletes —- should be a cautionary tale for recruiting in the NIL era.
“NIL and the presence of collectives and promises to prospects create a facet of the recruiting experience that is 100% outside of the school’s control, and what's being magnified with the Rashada situation is the promises of independent third parties are impacting where kids decide to go to school,” said Blake Lawrence, the CEO of Opendorse, a company that works with schools and collectives on NIL compliance and other services.
The NCAA lifted a ban on athletes cashing in on their fame in 2021. While the association still has rules in place that make it impermissible to use NIL as a recruiting inducement, patchwork state laws and the fear of legal challenges have prevented the NCAA from putting detailed, uniform regulations in place.
The rise of collectives, which operate outside a school and its athletic department but ideally in its best interest, prompted the NCAA to clarify that collectives —- like individual boosters — can't be involved in the recruiting process.
But the lines have been blurred as coaches try to present potential NIL opportunities to recruits without making guarantees.
"The coaches that are well coached on NIL say things like this, ‘I can’t promise you anything. But what I can share is that a player that is in your position on our campus is currently receiving X-Y-Z,’” Lawrence said.
Coaches and athletic department employees can publicly support collectives that support their athletes, though they can't directly raise funds. That easily allows recruits to identify the collectives most closely associated with the schools pursuing them.
Still, many who run collectives proceed cautiously when it comes to contact with recruits.
“They can reach out to us. Frankly, I avoid those conversations because it’s such a fine line between sharing information and enticement,” said Gary Marcinick, president and CEO of Cohesion Foundation, an NIL collective that works with Ohio State athletes.
Mike Caspino, an NIL attorney who has worked with numerous college athletes on deals with collectives — including Rashada's with Miami — sees it differently.
He said the difference in recruiting pitches that fall inside and outside the rules comes down to semantics. Ideally, schools would be directly involved with NIL deals instead of having an outside entity with little accountability representing its interests.
Caspino said the Rashada/Florida situation is indicative of systemic problems with NIL and recruiting.
“Such as a lack of adequate representation on both sides, such as a lack of documentation, such as we need to treat these as the business deals that they are,” Caspino said. “And in any business deal, we’re going to have a contract that sets forth everybody’s obligations, and the benefits everybody receives from the contract. And we don’t do that.”
Lawrence also said the reality behind the rhetoric is that most collectives are not funded well enough to meet the demand for NIL deals.
Todd Berry, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, said coaches worry about collectives dictating what players they can recruit.
"They have no control over some of the processes that are kind of going on, and who you’re getting. And so you’re not even getting the (players) that you want," Berry said.
Berry said most coaches would prefer collectives work with established players already on campus.
“So, now you’ve got this outside entity that is basically putting value on players and you don’t really even have control over the value of what’s going on,” he said.
Mit Winter, a sports attorney based in Kansas City, said the fallout from the Rashada's de-commitment should make schools closely examine the collectives they support.
“I think the moral of the story is collectives, you need to focus on your deals with current athletes and helping them with their NIL opportunities," Winter said. “And you leave the recruiting to the coaches.”
Her study looked at not just the storms but the problems that back-to-back hurricanes caused to people. In both situations, the frequency of back-to-back storms increased dramatically from current expectations. The study looked heavily at the impacts of storms more than just the storms themselves. But Lin said it’s just the nastier nature and size that increases the likelihood of back-to-back storms hitting roughly the same area. Some, including Corbosiero, say it is hard to say for sure that the back-to-back trend is already happening.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
But most experts have seen no indication of mass deaths or famine in North Korea. It’s unclear whether North Korea will take any significant steps to address food shortages. But North Korea rarely comes up with such measures,” said Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University in South Korea. North Korea needs about 5.5 million tons of grain to feed its 25 million people annually, so it’s short about 1 million tons this year. Efforts by North Korean authorities to tighten controls and restrict market activities have also worsened the situation, he said.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams experienced possibly the biggest repercussion of recent racist comments when a major comics syndicator, which also operates the GoComics website, announced Sunday it would no longer work with the cartoonist. Andrews McMeel Universal said in a statement that the syndication company was “severing" their relationship with Adams. In a YouTube episode released Monday, Scott Adams said that new “Dilbert” strips will only be available on his subscription service on the Locals platform. Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to people who are Black as members of a “hate group” or a “racist hate group” and said he would no longer “help Black Americans." "But you should also avoid any group that doesn’t respect you, even if there are people within the group who are fine,” Adams said.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
They’re more likely to occur from May through August, particularly during periods of high heat — making the December derecho so uncommon. A 2009 storm dubbed a Super Derecho by the National Weather Service traveled from western Kansas to eastern Kentucky. A 2003 derecho traveled from Arkansas through several southern states, including Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The weather service said a progressive derecho is fueled by a hot and moist environment with relatively strong winds aloft. They sweep across an area both long and wide, driven by the presence of very strong winds in the atmosphere.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
Speed around a French village in the video game Gran Turismo and you might spot a Corvette behind you trying to catch your slipstream. But in some instances, they are also trying to learn how to get smarter in the real world. “It’s probably not going to be one big breakthrough and that everything is going to be shifted to the real world,” Volz said. Japanese electronics giant Sony launched its own AI research division in 2020 with entertainment in mind, but it's nonetheless attracted broader academic attention. Peter Wurman, director of Sony AI America and project lead on GT Sophy, said it takes about two weeks for AI agents to train on 20 PlayStations.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
Instead, Universal Pictures' “Cocaine Bear” rampaged through multiplexes, scoring notably above expectations. Made for about $35 million and directed by Elizabeth Banks, “Cocaine Bear” stirred up plenty of buzz just from its title and its made-to-go-viral trailer. "Snakes on a Plane," a movie many compared to “Cocaine Bear,” opened with $13.9 million in 2006. In just about the epitome of counterprogramming to “Cocaine Bear,” Lionsgate's “Jesus Revolution” also debuted strongly. “Cocaine Bear,” $23.1 million.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
The SAG Awards, often an Oscar preview, threw some curve balls into the Oscars race in a ceremony streamed live on Netflix's YouTube page from Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles. “This is not just for me," said Yeoh, the first Asian actress to win the SAG Award for female lead. He's also the first Asian to win best male supporting actor at the SAG Awards. The SAG Awards are considered one of the most reliable Oscar bellwethers. After the SAG Awards, presented by the film and television acting guild SAG-AFTRA, lost their broadcast home at TNT/TBS, Netflix signed on to stream Sunday's ceremony.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
FONTANA, Calif. — Most of NASCAR's Cup Series drivers feel like they're saying their final goodbye to a dear old friend this weekend. Fontana won't host a NASCAR weekend in 2024, and the new setup might not be ready until 2026 — if it happens at all. "And here's the part that makes me feel a little better about it: Yes, the racing here is spectacular. No problemGiven their familiarity with this circuit, the drivers aren't concerned after the weather kept them off the track Saturday. "It would be a different question if this was last year and we had a brand-new racing car."27 days ago Fremont Tribune