Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz is facing backlash after his comments regarding the need for additional guardrails surrounding name, image, and likeness.
The 40-year-old was asked about issues regarding gambling and how he would handle the issue with his team. Drinkwitz proceeded to discuss the impact of NIL on college sports as opposed to answering the question.
“We’re giving guys 18, 19, … 22 (years old) life-changing money,” he said, per Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger. “People are making more money in NIL than my brother-in-law, who is a pediatrician, who saves lives and we think that there’s not going to be any side effect, there’s not going to be any issues.”
Drinkwitz continued by saying there are “bad actors always trying to make a dollar.” The Tigers’ coach believes that NIL will only become more prevalent in college sports due to the increase in money that’s involved.
“You know, with this NIL situation, we’ve created our own problems in college sports,” he added.
The comments addressed a growing concern within the sport regarding the format and governance over NIL. The NCAA has sought out federal legislation for NIL from Congress but has been unable to make much progress in the pursuit.
The Tigers’ coach received plenty of heated responses following his comments, with many on social media pointing to his own hefty annual salary. Drinkwitz signed a two-year extension last November through the 2027 season that’s worth $6 million annually.
Drinkwitz owns a 17-19 record over three seasons at Missouri. The Tigers posted back-to-back losing seasons in 2021 and 2022. The Norman, Oklahoma native served as coach at Appalachian State in 2019, leading the Mountaineers to a 12-1 mark and the Sun Belt Championship.
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