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Ryan Day: $13 Million to Keep all Current Buckeyes

Ryan Day Buckeye head coach

Ryan Day Buckeye head coach

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Buckeyes Day says to keep the squad together will cost money

If you get an email or catch wind that your team’s coach is speaking in a public forum you might want to find time and attend. The headline grabber was Nick Saban: Unfiltered in Birmingham when he went scorched earth on Texas A&M and Jackson State, things seem to have chilled there but at another one of college football’s version of “MTV Unplugged” in Columbus, Ohio where Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day spoke at the Covelli Center to prominent members of the Columbus business community.

Ryan Day indicated and referenced the report via Cleveland.com on June 2 that he believes to keep his Ohio State football team intact from the transfer portal and to keep up nationally with other collectives from name, image, and likeness (NIL) agreements that he would need to have $13 million in his collective to do so.

Day’s speech at the Covelli Center adds a new wrinkle to what universities are asking football coaches to be. Fundraising is not new for a football coach for a school, but the wrinkle in the fundraising being added is now the ability to fund a collective to compensate Buckeye athletes in the form of NIL.

The Buckeyes launched the Corporate Ambassador Program, a program that would allow Ohio State student-athletes to serve as corporate brand ambassadors for a company within the Columbus community in the forms of marketing and advertising.

This isn’t the first and certainly wouldn’t be the last collective strategy used by universities across the country.

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith pointed out on February 10th of this year that Ohio State has already delivered nearly $3 million to 225 Ohio State student-athletes through January 23rd and the university ranks No. 1 in NIL Compensation and the number of student-athletes with at least one NIL Activity.

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Ryan Day went on to speak about the going rate for elite talent:

  • Top Tier Elite QBs require $2 million in NIL – essentially continuing the standards set in Columbus by Dwayne Haskins, Justin Fields, and C.J. Stroud
  • Elite Edge Rushers require $1 million in NIL – essentially continuing the standards set in Columbus by the Bosa Brothers and Chase Young
  • Top Offensive Tackles also require $1 million in NIL – essentially continuing the standards set in Columbus by Nicholas Petit-Frere, Isaiah Prince, and Taylor Decker

When you start to break down the $13 million, I wouldn’t necessarily feel all 85 scholarship players get an equal cut or just over $150,000 per player but more so bigger chunks for starters and for prized athletes that will consume 90% of the budget.

When you begin to look at it on the surface, Ryan Day was shining the Ohio State “Bat Signal” to the community.

Day understands by and large when it comes to collectives and keeping up with the times, the Big Ten struggles in this department holistically. The league is very slow to adapt to changes, and when you look at how the SEC, Clemson, Southern California, and Oregon have adapted and truly have been living in this world.

Ryan Day recognizes the standard of expectations at Ohio State

It isn’t just beating Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, or winning the Big Ten, that is just to get to acceptable levels. The standard is beating Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and Notre Dame in college football.

The aftereffects of NIL in Columbus are already being seen as starting Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud scored a NIL deal with Sarchione Auto Gallery which has outfitted the signal-caller with a Mercedes AMG G Wagon, a high-end luxury vehicle valued at $200,000.

Stroud’s commitment will be promoting the automobile gallery on social media and making public appearances at the dealership and for the dealership.

The Opinion on the Topic Varies.

When you begin to assess the situation, you can take the holier-than-thou approach and rant about how bad the economy is, and he is there for the school, etc.

You can go to the opposite extreme and say unequivocally players with that high end of talent deserve to maximize their abilities and get compensated for it.
Both ends have merit to their argument, and neither is wrong. There is somewhere in the middle that the sport needs to find.

You must begin to wonder how much is too much too soon? You must begin to wonder what the reasonable expectations for both the athletes and businesses are to come to. You must wonder what the stresses and distractions of these expectations for these athletes are because their college experience is no longer owned by them, but it is owned by everyone else.

Imagine these are the same businesses and people universities go to fundraise for facilities, upgrades, and other donations the university needs to conduct business. How many times can the football coach continue to peddle for more money?
Just how much control does the coach lose when boosters begin to meddle with their program?

Former Student-Athletes at Ohio State Discuss.

Former Buckeye linebackers A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter were on The Pat McAfee Show and Hawk described the influence a booster had. How a booster gains hours of university time by donations they give or resources they allow the university to use.

Hawk and Carpenter detailed how a prominent booster was able to call and discuss with the head coach about players and playing time.

This isn’t a good direction for the sport.

Day told Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Doug Lesmerises, "If the speed limit's 45 miles per hour, and you drive 45 miles per hour, a lot of people are going to pass you by. If you go too fast, you're going to get pulled over.”

While Day has a solid perspective and historically has been there for his athletes has they coped with a variety of issues including Harry Miller and his mental struggles, he must worry when it is too aggressive or going too fast.

Even though these athletes are literally being transformed and treated like professional athletes, there is still a young person who is experiencing new freedoms and with the money, Day has described it as a life-altering resource most of us only dream about. The athletes are still very young adults, some will handle it well and some won’t, and the latter is what every good coach worries about. For fans, these numbers are only going to go up, $13 million today might double in ten years, if not sooner. At some point, they will be asked to contribute because there is only so much money that can go around.

Day said in the same Doug Lesmerises article, "One phone call, and they're out the door," Day said. "We cannot let that happen at Ohio State. I'm not trying to sound the alarm, I'm just trying to be transparent about what we're dealing with.”

That sounds like a coach who knows how pressured his job to perform and the scary thing is Ryan Day for all the good he does for the community, it will be the results on Saturday that people only care about, and at some point, as a man is there enough fulfillment that he receives from the immense grind to stay on top?

For universities at some point will the price be too much to bear? What would a de-emphasis of football look like for a program like Ohio State? What would the impact be?

As we have learned so far with NIL when coaches and universities begin to answer questions, only more pop up and it is a trend that will likely continue into the foreseeable future with a giant price tag not that far behind