College athletics received a major facelift this summer when the NCAA gave approval for student-athletes to profit off name, image, and likeness (NIL). But while players at some of the nation’s premier athletic programs reap the rewards of the new guidelines, smaller schools perhaps face more hurdles than ever when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. TCU’s Gary Patterson isn’t afraid, either, to give some perspective on what it’s like to be a football coach amid changing times.
Patterson, speaking at NIL open house on TCU’s campus Wednesday, spoke on potential challenges that come with retaining top talent on his roster as NIL opportunities for players vary from school to school. In an interview with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Patterson expressed concern of highly-resourced programs, particularly SEC schools, using NIL opportunities to both win recruiting battles and perhaps even lure players via the transfer portal.
“There’s five SEC schools calling (a player) and telling him ‘Here’s what we’ll give you if you come here and not stay at TCU,'” Patterson told the Star-Telegram. “At the end of the day, that’s just real life. If we don’t do anything about it, within a year we lose him. The rules have changed. There’s no wrong anymore.”
Patterson went on to hypothesize that he could “lose 20-35 guys on scholarships by January” — Patterson believes that players will inevitably disclose their NIL opportunities to players at other schools — when discussing the need for TCU players to have extensive NIL opportunities.
“It takes more to stay where we’re at that it took to get here,” Patterson added. “We’ve done a lot to get here, but if you want to play at a very high level, what you have to understand is we’re going to have to do some things to make sure that we stay and keep growing.