Arizona State Nov 27, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils mascot Sparky during the first half against the Arizona Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA‘s recent change that allows athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL) has made college football feel like the wild west at times with few rules and regulations. But there are still rules, and Arizona State’s new NIL collective might find that out the hard way.

While the NCAA rules do allow college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness, NIL cannot be used as a direct recruiting inducement. This means that schools cannot recruit players with the promise of NIL deals, nor can a player be paid directly in return for their commitment.

Earlier this week, a new Arizona State NIL collective called the Sun Angel Collective began operation, and they appear to be having some problems with this rule right off the bat.

During a conversation with, Sun Angel Collective president Jeff Burg accidentally described something that sounds a whole lot like a direct recruiting inducement, saying that money from the collective would be used for “attracting top talent.”

Here’s an excerpt from outlining the collective’s plan for the money it receives.

Burg said the money for the collective is divided up into three “buckets.” The first is for broad areas of need that would benefit the team. One example of that might be a year-long campus parking pass for players, many of whom have gotten tickets for simply parking during practice.

The second bucket is for “attracting top talent,” money that can be used to generate deals for elite players they’d like to keep or bring in.

Then the third bucket would be to “reward loyalty,” benefiting players who have been in the program for multiple years and demonstrated leadership qualities on and off the field.

It’s worth noting that Arizona State is already in the middle of an NCAA investigation into head coach Herm Edwards’ recruiting practices. As a result, the program has already had five assistant coaches lose their jobs and seen its star quarterback leave the team. It’s fair to wonder why Edwards still has a job at this point.

This latest hiccup probably isn’t going to help matters all that much.