Urban Meyer Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The college football landscape has changed a lot since three-time national champion head coach Urban Meyer retired from coaching college following the 2018 season, particularly with the NCAA changing its rules to allow players to profit from their name, image, and likeness. And it sounds like Meyer is not a fan of how NIL has changed the sport.

During a recent interview with Lou Holtz on The Lou Holtz Podcast, Urban Meyer made it clear that he actually supports players being allowed to earn compensation from endorsement deals or promotional opportunities, but that’s not what he has seen happen.

“I think NIL, and I sat in those committees for many, many years, I think it’s great. I think if it’s capitalism, for example, if a great player like Marvin Harrison Jr. And some car dealership in town wants to hire him, they want to put his name on a billboard and pay him money, sign autographs. He wants to put something on an Instagram or they sell that. But that’s not what’s happened, Coach. What’s happened is it’s cheating,” Meyer said.

Instead of simple promotional or endorsement opportunities for players, NIL collectives have formed to essentially pay players through donor money – and Meyer is not a fan of that.

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

“America is built on name and likeness. If you have Lou Holtz or Urban Meyer or Marvin Harrison Jr., 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 or pay these players a lot of money to go visit a charity for 20 minutes, and they write a check for $50,000. That’s cheating. That’s not what this is all about. So I’m very disappointed in where it went.

“I think the purpose or the reason for doing it is right. A player should be able to do that. And especially, think about this, Coach, these other sports. 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. What’s happened is the arms race of collecting money from donors, and the donors are simply paying players. And that’s what I understand is happening, and I don’t like that.”

Obviously, this is not something that Meyer has to deal with firsthand anymore as he has since retired from coaching. But as an analyst and a former coach, he’s not happy with the way the sport has changed.

[Lou Holtz Podcast]