Nebraska football has long talked a good game about its NIL power but a recent move by the Utah Utes shows the Huskers are still trailing the pack.
First thing’s first. It’s clear that Nebraska football and the other Nebraska Cornhuskers programs have a decent setup for NIL. The school has its own NIL collective in the 1890 Initiative.
The Huskers have a bit of a jump on several other Big Ten programs in their NIL efforts. However, there have been more than a few people around the Nebraska football program who have been trying to sound the alarm. Some believe the Huskers are actually soundly behind the leaders of the pack. A recent move by the Utah Utes of all programs shows that the Cornhuskers might only be falling farther behind the best teams in the country.
On Wednesday morning, Yahoo! Sports reporter Ross Dellenger reported on what the Pac-12 power is doing to keep its current crop and reel in more prospects. A university-tied NIL group known as the Crimson Collective is gifting truck leases to every single one of Utah’s 85 scholarship players.
Dellenger reported that collectives and donors allowed the Utah Utes to gift a truck to “each player as part of individual six-month contracts that are expected to roll over contingent on a player’s eligibility and enrollment at the university.”
Nebraska football NIL efforts need to find a way to copycat
This kind of announcement is likely going to spark a number of copycats. The 1890 Initiative needs to be one of those doing similar deals. The problem is that it’s not clear if the Nebraska football tied NIL collective has that kind of juice.
Sure, Jeff Sims can get a deal with Amigos. Decoldest Crawford and then Nash Hutmacher can get deals with a local air conditioning company. But until Nebraska football can swing the kind of deals Utah just got for its entire roster, it will have problems keeping up with the big boys.