Mississippi Head Coach Lane Kiffin returns to Neyland Stadium before an SEC football game between Tennessee and Ole Miss in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Kns Tennessee Ole Miss Football

The future of collegiate sports was forever changed back in June when the NCAA announced that players could now receive the opportunity to benefit from their name, image, and likeness, otherwise known as NIL deals.

The 2022 NCAA Tournament has shown us some unique examples of how NIL is helping student-athletes in different ways.

Hoosiers cheerleader Cassidy Cerny received a NIL deal after her viral NCAA Tournament moment retrieving a ball that was stuck behind the backboard during Indiana’s first-round matchup against Saint Mary’s.

St. Peters guard Doug Edert received a NIL deal after the team’s miraculous run to the Sweet 16, inking a deal with major brands Barstool Sports and Buffalo Wild Wings.

This is the direction that collegiate sports are clearly going in, whether you like it or not. Many college coaches have had something to say about their impact and Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin gave his opinion on Wednesday.

“I’ve obviously said a lot about NIL deals from the beginning of it, let’s just make sure we understand that I love players getting paid,” Kiffin said, via 247 Sports. “I got called a clown before for saying how it is, but NIL has a lot to do with where players go.

“It has a lot to do where players go and it should. Adults choose jobs all the time for money, for salary…so why would a kid not.”

Kiffin added that schools like Texas and Texas A&M have an advantage in recruiting when it comes to making NIL pitches to top recruits, which is where his concerns remain.

Kiffin is absolutely right, and it is clear that this is the direction that collegiate sports are going in for the future. NIL deals, along with the transfer portal, which Kiffin has also spoken about in the past, have certainly gone a long way in changing collegiate sports and the kind of autonomy that players have.

[247 Sports]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.