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Old 05-13-2022, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default Comments from OU Coaches about NIL

How do OU football coach Brent Venables & other Sooners feel about new NCAA NIL guidelines?
Ryan Aber Oklahoman

DUNCAN — Brent Venables is all for players benefitting from their name, image, and likeness.

“I think it’s really cool that we have finally wised up and created a small space for that,” the OU football coach said Thursday at the OU Coaches Caravan stop at the Stephens County Fairgrounds.

“And with good intention. I just hope that at some point in time, it gets to where there’s some equality to it, there’s some sense, and that we’re not prostituting kids. I wouldn’t give an open credit card to any of my kids, you know, so why would you write a blank check — and that’s not what the intention of the rule was.”

The NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors published guidelines earlier in the week that clarified that boosters — which include so-called “collectives” that provide players from a particular school with endorsement deals — should not have contact with recruits, their families or their representatives before the player signs.

One such collective is the recently announced 1Oklahoma, which has Barry Switzer as one of its main faces.

Sooners women’s basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk said the new guidelines wouldn’t change much inside the athletic department.

“We’re in the weeds right now, and it’s a little bit chaotic,” Baranczyk said. “Do the guidelines help us? I don’t know. I think the really special thing is I think the way that Oklahoma has approached this has been really, really great. So the guidelines haven’t changed much for us. … We’re keeping our ethics as high as we possibly can, and I think that’s really important.”

Baranczyk said it’s been “the Wild, Wild West” through the first 10 ˝ months since NIL deals were allowed.

Venables likened it to bowling without bumpers.

“When you put the bumpers on there, it keeps the ball out of the gutter, right?” Venables said. “So you know, I think we need the bumpers or it’s going to be a train wreck. Maybe it already is. … It’s an out-of-control locomotive.”

Venables said one of his biggest concerns about NIL was making sure his players were prepared for the tax issues and other financial considerations.

“We’re going to work really hard to educate our guys financially,” Venables said. “The financial literacy piece is incredibly important, whether that’s taxes or an LLC, certainly how to invest money, how to open a bank account.

“Just to be smart and mindful that the IRS will punch you and find you, and you will go to prison, OK, if you don’t follow these rules. So with all the backdoor stuff, the same people that are involved in some of the stuff that shouldn’t be going on and going to be the same people that have no skin in the game when these kids are faced with tax evasion, and that’s sad really. And that’s going to happen. Like, that’s right on down the road. It’s on the front of that hood on that car to where we’re going. So we’re trying to do what we can to help our guys in being an industry leader in that space.”

Sooners men’s basketball coach Porter Moser said he hoped guidelines would help level the playing field.

“There’s got to be some balance,” Moser said. “I think everybody thinks it was time to have the student-athletes be able to capitalize on this, and I think it’s a good thing. But what are the guardrails gonna be? And then there were no guardrails, and then it just opened up. Now, I think they’re trying to step back, but I think like anything, we’ll figure it out. We will navigate through it. … Eventually it’s got to get to the point where it’s even, that it’s not just so out of whack with the competition, and I think that’s where it’s got to go. But that roadmap is very, very fuzzy right now.”

OU Coaches Caravan notebook
Here’s some other notes from the Duncan caravan stop:

► Venables talked of the first time he heard that the OU job was coming open. He was on a run when Thad Turnipseed, who is now with Venables in Norman, texted. “Lincoln to USC?” Turnipseed texted, though Venables wasn’t sure it was real. “I thought he was trying to project.” When Venables got home, his wife asked if Joe Castiglione had called. “I still was not presumptuous like, ‘I’m going to get the job,'” Venables said.

► Venables said he and his staff receive weekly social-media reports on high-level recruits, which includes green marks for acceptable content and red for questionable content. Venables said red marks don’t necessarily disqualify a player from being recruited by the Sooners. “Everybody deserves some grace, but for us, that’s an alarm — let’s check that and look a little further.”

► Venables spoke again about the “fantasy camp” for donors that will take place beginning a few days into training camp, that includes sitting in on meetings, team meals and other team activities. While no price was listed or mentioned, Venables said the camp wouldn’t come cheap.

► Moser and Baranczyk both said OU’s new streaming agreement with ESPN+ was a big upgrade over the current third-tier rights package with Bally Sports. Moser called the addition “amazing” while Baranczyk said it was “huge.” “I think it’s a statement, again, for just the visual impact that this brand — the OU brand — has from every program,” Baranczyk said. “I think it’s great for all of us. Yes, it will benefit women’s basketball, but it’s definitely going to benefit all of us.”

► Moser said his team will play three exhibition games this season in Barcelona and Paris, which will include the benefit of extra practices leading up to the departure. Baranczyk’s team will also be doing a similar stint that includes games in Paris.

► Moser said he took his team to an OU softball practice recently. “Just touch their arms or something, maybe through osmosis we’ll get something,” Moser said. Moser said some of his players stood in against some of the Sooners’ pitchers. “The best we got was a foul ball,” Moser said.

► Moser talked of the importance of building a strong atmosphere at Lloyd Noble Center, and of his tour of OU fraternities and sororities to try to drum up support. “Hell, I learned beer pong at my age,” Moser said. “I’ll do anything to get the fans in there.”

► Moser said he would sing the seventh-inning stretch at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on June 4 for the ninth time. The Cubs are 7-1 when Moser leads the stretch.

► Baranczyk talked about her signing class, especially adding 6-foot-3 forward Beatrice Culliton of Overland Park, Kansas. The Sooners were lacking size last season. “I was kind of done being the tallest player on the team,” Baranczyk said. Baranczyk said Culliton would make an immediate impact in the middle for the Sooners.
The pessimist may be right in the long run, but the optimist has a better time during the trip.

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