Ohio State Buckeyes coach Ryan Day says NIL money should be spread out among college football players

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ohio State coach Ryan Day thinks that while college football's highest-profile players will have immense earning opportunities through name, image and likeness deals, there should be consideration to sharing money among other players.

Day, speaking Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium, was asked about Alabama coach Nick Saban's recent comment that Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young could command seven figures in NIL agreements. Ohio State's starting quarterback occupies a similar position in the sport, and the growing Columbus market provides "the perfect alignment," Day said, for earning potential.

"Those things happen and will come naturally, but I do think we need to consider down the road, somewhere along the line, maybe it's a year from now, figuring out how we spread some of that money out," Day said. "Certainly the quarterback at Ohio State is going to have unbelievable opportunities, the wide receiver, the running back, there's going to be certain positions.

"However, how do we find ways to make sure we disseminate that throughout the team? Because there's a lot of guys out there who are also playing football, guys who are blocking for the quarterback, guys who are covering the wide receivers."

Day thinks one approach would be for schools to create agreements with a group of local businesses that would produce a pool of revenue that could be divided among the players. The NCAA would have to allow schools to be more active in creating such deals, or in having their logos and markings used.

"Say they put $3 million into an account, and then you could work with Ohio State, and they split that money to everybody, so that the quarterback isn't the only one," Day said. "Now if the quarterback wants to do a deal on his own, great, but if not, it all gets spread evenly to everybody. If it's a group deal, you can use the Ohio State logo and the trademarking. The NCAA would have to OK that because now we can't do that. But it seems more sustainable to me.

"It seems like that would help the left tackle or the left guard get $10,000."

Quarterbacks such as Young and Miami's D'Eriq King are well positioned to earn significant money during the first few months of the NIL era. Ohio State has yet to name its starting quarterback, as Day said C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller and Kyle McCord will continue to compete when training camp kicks off.

Ohio State, the national runner-up in 2020, opens the 2021 season Sept. 2 at Minnesota.

"The focus for all those guys just has to be development," Day said. "If they're worried about starting, if they're worried about money, then they're worried about the wrong things."

Day acknowledged that an NIL revenue model is "tricky" and said that he doesn't have a solution but reiterated that it should be examined in the future.

He also discussed Ohio State's team vaccinations, noting that a majority of the team has received the COVID-19 vaccine. Star wide receiver Chris Olave, initially scheduled to attend Big Ten media days, is set to receive his second shot this weekend.

"There's certain risks with everything," Day said. "There's risks with the virus, there's risks with the vaccine, there's risks with testing positive, there's risks with contact tracing and not being able to play. We've left that up to the players. We try to do everything we can to educate them. ... But I feel like we're in a pretty good place. It's something that's unique to each guy."