Ohio State hosted an NIL Corporate Ambassador Program in Columbus to encourage business to fund their pursuit of players through paid endorsement opportunities.
While speaking to around 100 local business leaders Thursday morning, per Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com, Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day said the program will need $13 million spent in NIL deals to maintain a competitive roster.
Naturally, that money won’t get divided evenly among the team. Per Day’s estimates, players at premium positions — most notably quarterback — will warrant seven-figure payments.
“Day said the Buckeyes have been gathering information by talking to recruits and their families and getting a sense of what other schools might be discussing with NIL deals,” Lesmerises wrote. “He said he believes right now top-shelf quarterbacks require $2 million in NIL money. Major offensive tackles and edge rushers he said are about $1 million.”
The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel said those numbers “mirror what we’ve been hearing.”
According to Lesmerises, athletic director Gene Smith claimed “unscrupulous characters” are directly paying players through NIL deals. Smith wouldn’t endorse Ohio State taking such actions.
However, Day expressed the importance of finding a middle ground so the program doesn’t fall behind.
“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,” Day said. “If you go too fast, you’re going to get pulled over.”
Day warned potential boosters that they’re at risk of losing recruits through the transfer portal if other schools offer better NIL opportunities.
“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.”
It’s a new, and currently unregulated world in college football. While coaches and administrators may not like the changes, quarterbacks have two million reasons to like it by Day’s projection.