63.2 F
Los Angeles

Top coaches, programs spearheading NIL, will peers catch up?


Subscribe to our Insider

Three letters have changed college athletics forever: NIL (Name Image and Likeness). And while many sports fans have focused on its effects on college football and men’s basketball, it’s affecting women’s basketball, too. The most straightforward way to articulate it is that some women’s basketball coaches are capitalizing on NIL and being aggressive in its benefit to their program.

Take, for example, LSU head coach Kim Mulkey. She is in her second year at the program and already has the commitment of the No. 1 player in the 2023 class, Mikaylah Williams. What’s unique about the commitment is not that Williams committed to the Tigers; it’s the fact that she committed in June and never took one official visit. One might state that it’s because she’s from Louisiana.

And while that’s not something to ceremoniously dismiss, the nostalgia of home, here’s data showing that it’s doubtful that was the determining factor. Of the top-22 players in the country by ESPN (all 5-stars), the ONLY one staying in their home state is Williams.

Ask yourself an honest, objective question: When was the last time the No. 1 player in women’s basketball didn’t take not ONE official visit?



Still waiting.

Based on the last decade, at least, it’s never happened. Why? Because before NIL, it would make no sense for the best player in the class not to explore other options. AAU coaches would never want their top player not to vet other programs. So what made this situation different?

Come on, don’t be naive: NIL!  With the lucrative NIL opportunities out there, do you think it was prudent for Willaims to commit so early and not create any leverage? That’s financial malpractice. So clearly, Mulkey utilized, and rightfully so, NIL to her benefit to land the game-changing guard. To find out more, become a member of our Super VIP Insider.

An excellent article in The Athletic talked about Mulkey and stated, “Mulkey’s also the figure who can sell as well as anybody in sports. She’s a master at raising money, a star at rotary club meetings, a reporter’s dream at news conferences.” Did you catch the most crucial line in that quote?

“She’s a master at raising money.”

Mulkey has been aggressive with multiple fundraisers, connecting with boosters to be at the forefront of capitalizing on this newfound toy called NIL. But let’s digress a little bit. Do you remember the viral video of Alabama head coach Nick Saban pleading with boosters to contribute more money so they could continue to sign the best players in the country?

Saban went on that rant with boosters to get them to spend more money so that Alabama could stay at the pinnacle of college football. Even though the Crimson Tide is a blue-blood program, a winner of multiple national championships, and the sport’s gold standard, Saban is not resting on the laurels of nostalgia to get players; he’s maximizing every tool at his disposal to stay on top.

Circling back to women’s basketball, even Miami, who is not a powerhouse, is boldly utilizing NIL with booster John Ruiz.

Now, if the Hurricanes utilized NIL for the Cavinder twins, can you imagine what they would do for the top players in the country?

Remember when Mulkey created a first-of-its-kind position called Director of Player Personnel and Influence?

The LSU head coach is looking to maximize the NIL and get every advantage over her peers — especially in the SEC.


Mike Robinson
Mike Robinson
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Ball Out. Dubbed a "genius" by Seth Pollack, the Ex-Associate Director at Vox Media, praised by the likes of Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale, his work has illuminated CBS, NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated. Known for breaking record news stories during his tenure at Vox Media, Mike Robinson has been describe by luminaries in media as a transcendent talent with a passion for truth-telling, breaking news and quality journalism.

Subscribe to our Insider

━ more like this

Dining Experience at PepperJax Grill: Great Fast Food

PepperJax Grill restaurant is not your typical fast-food restaurant. It's a culinary oasis where the speed of service rivals any quick-stop eatery, yet the...

Gunman killed on UNLV campus

Wednesday afternoon on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), three lives were taken and another wounded after a male opened fire on the...

The Unprecedented Decision of the College Football Playoffs: Why Was Undefeated Florida State Left Out?

A chill wind blew across the college football landscape as the College Football Playoff Rankings were announced. An undefeated Florida State, 13-0, was left...

No. 3 Washington Triumphs Over No. 5 Oregon in Epic Pac-12 Championship Showdown

In the thrilling world of this year's college football, there have been some epic games with major implications. And tonight's rematch between the No....

Bittersweet for LSU as Reese returns, Smith injured

For the past four games, No. 7 LSU has been without one of its star players – Angel Reese. While there has been speculation...