Longtime college football coach Terry Bowden is heading into his second year as head coach of Louisiana-Monroe – and the second full year of NIL deals being the law of the land.
Speaking to Paul Finebaum on Friday, Bowden had an interesting assessment of the state of NIL deals. He declared that when a quarterback is making money and driving a Bentley, at that point they’re a pro athlete.
“When a Quarterback is making six figures and driving a Bentley, he’s a professional athlete,” Bowden said.
For many, the idea of treating and paying college players like professional athletes is fine. Bowden clearly doesn’t agree with them. He likely falls into the category of so many people who believe that this will destroy college football.
The specific example that Terry Bowden is probably referring to is Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud signing an NIL deal with a luxury auto seller. Stroud now gets to ride a $150,000 Bentley – or a $200,000 G-Wagon, or many other luxury vehicles – as he pleases.
For generations there has been a massive effort to mark a clear distinction between professional and amateur athletes. But as time goes by, the argument has become a semantic one.
The current state of NIL is how some of the nation’s top college athletes will be allowed to make money until such time as it is properly made into law.
No amount of hand wringing from Terry Bowden or anyone else will change that.