Nebraska football rival points out the big problem with NIL in 2024

Nebraska football rival Maryland's Mike Locksley told an eye-opening story about the kind of NIL problems he's dealing with these days.
Maryland Terrapins head coach Mike Locksley
Maryland Terrapins head coach Mike Locksley / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule kicked off the offseason by talking about how much money his program probably needed to spend to get the very best NIL athletes to Lincoln. Over the weekend, Maryland's head coach spoke about how much his program was asked to spend to keep guys with the Terapins.

Mike Locksley was in Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend and he spoke at length about a number of subjects, including his mentor, Nick Saban stepping down this year. But it was his claim that he was basically being shaken down that should raise the eyebrows of any college football fans.

The man who helped keep the Nebraska football team out of a bowl game this past season started his remarks about NIL by saying that he does believe players need to get a piece of the pie. However, he also made it clear that he doesn't think the current system is sustainable.

"Because of this portal, NIL," Locksley said. "Your third-team tailback coming in and saying, ‘I need $100,000 or I'm going into the portal.’ And you're like, ‘Where does this magic $100,000 number come from?"

Locksley went on to say that money has changed things so that players are more worried about money than they are about going to bowl games and finishing with winning seasons. It's clear he believes that the college football world in general has taken a bad turn.

Nebraska football rival points out the big problem with NIL in 2024

"Everything coming in was like, ‘I want this. I want that.’ And the greatest team sport has now become kind of individualized."

This is the kind of story that Nebraska football fans, and college football fans in general might shrug away as hyperbolic. However, it's worth pointing out that Locksley did lose two running backs, including his third leading rusher. Antwain Littleton transferred to Temple over the offseason.