Florida Football: We have lost the plot when it comes to the purpose of NIL

Sep 16, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; A detailed view of the end zone pylon with a Florida Gators and
Sep 16, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; A detailed view of the end zone pylon with a Florida Gators and / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When NIL became the new law of the land in college football, critics warned it would be the Wild Wild West. But after years of the NCAA trying to strong arm players from getting paid, it was a needed step to allow players to enjoy some of the money that they help generate.

Yet almost three years later since NIL was enacted, the original impetus of getting players paid and the actual avenue its happening are not in agreement with each other.

Florida Football: Mo Money Mo Problems

Yesterday was Gator Nation Giving Day, a fundraising drive by the university to allow University of Florida supporters to donate money directly to a wide range of programs on campus. Among the options to have money funneled was athletics, but people on X were scratching their heads as to why there was not an option to donate to Florida Victorious, Florida's main NIL collective.

As Dan Thompson of Stadium and Gale pointed out, Florida Victorius is considered a separate entity from the university, and thus wasn't within the umbrella of what Giving Day was raising funds for.

There are still plenty of critiques to go around for Florida's NIL efforts and the laissez-faire approach the Gators have taken. One of the sub debates is whether money that is being funneled through the UAA could actually go towards Florida Victorious and that Florida isn't as broke as the headlines indicate, it just doesn't spend its money wisely.

Either way, the narrative surrounding NIL and what role we as fans should play has shifted away very quickly from what the original conversation was of why players should get paid in the first place.

People wanted to see players get paid because of the swath of revenue college football generates, and it only seemed fair that if Gator players were playing in front of 90,000 fans while being broadcast to millions of people on TV with advertisements galore that they too should see the money.

ESPN for example just inked a six-year extension for the College Football Playoff worth $1.3 billion.

But TV contracts and ticket revenue isn't being funneled to players, at least legally. Thus the burden to keep up in the NIL arms race falls back onto the fans to keep the coffers of Florida Victorious full.

Plans for Florida Victorious start at $15 a month, so it's not a crazy amount for someone who wants to see Florida succeed.

And as people have been popcorning ideas, there are other ways to generate funds for NIL that would require minimal financial commitment from fans.

But we went from "Yeah, let the car dealership pay players in the open rather than having to do it in a paper bag" to "If every fan doesn't donate, we are going to lose to UCF."

There are times it feels like it might be better if we just went back to $10K in a McDonald's bag.