Legendary college football coach Urban Meyer likens NIL to ‘cheating’: ‘That’s not what the intent is’

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Add Urban Meyer to the list of legends to rip the current state of NIL.

The three-time national champion football coach said name, image and likeness has become a form of “cheating” when recruiting.

“If you’re a woman basketball player like the great girl from Iowa, and they want to put her on a billboard and pay her, they should be able to do that. But that’s not what happened,” Meyer said during an interview with Lou Holtz. 

“What’s happened is the arms race of collecting money from donors, and the donors are simply paying players. That’s what I understand is happening, and I don’t like that. 

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Urban Meyer at the NCAA Tournament

Urban Meyer during a first-round game of the NCAA Tournament between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Maryland Terrapins at Legacy Arena at the BJCC March 16, 2023, in Birmingham, Ala.  (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

“If Lou Holtz or Urban Meyer or Marvin Harrison Jr., or C.J. Stroud, they want to go use their name and help sell cars, help a business, that’s great. But to have a 17-year-old demand money for a visit, to pay these players a lot of money to go visit a charity for 20 minutes, and they write you a check for $50,000. That’s cheating. That’s not what this is all about. I’m very disappointed in where it went.”

Meyer got out of coaching six years ago, and NIL was still somewhat unimaginable when he walked away. 

Urban Meyer in December 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Dec. 12, 2021. (Steve Roberts/USA Today Sports)

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Meyer even argued NIL is “great,” but once it became “capitalism,” that’s where he has issues.

“There’s these things called collectives where they go out and get money from donors and get this big, giant mass of money and they pay players,” Meyer said. “That’s not what the intent is.”

Urban Meyer talks on air

Fox Sports announcer Urban Meyer talks on air during halftime of the Purdue Boilermakers-Michigan Wolverines Big 10 championship game Dec. 3, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  (Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Meyer coached Ohio State from 2012 to 2018 after leading the Florida Gators from 2005 to 2010. He last coached the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021 but was fired after a 2-11 start to the season.

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