Driving assessment

The college football coach has a brutally honest assessment of NIL deals

OXFORD, OH – NOVEMBER 07: Head coach Terry Bowden of the Akron Zips watches from the sideline against the Miami Ohio Redhawks during the first half at Yager Stadium on November 7, 2017 in Oxford, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Longtime college football coach Terry Bowden is entering his second year as Louisiana-Monroe head coach — and the second full year of NIL deals being the law of the land.

Speaking to Paul Finebaum on Friday, Bowden gave an interesting assessment of the state of NIL trading. He said when a quarterback makes money and drives a Bentley, then he’s a professional athlete.

“When a quarterback makes six figures and drives a Bentley, he’s a professional athlete,” Bowden said.

For many, the idea of ​​treating and paying college players like professional athletes is a good one. Bowden clearly disagrees with them. He probably falls into the category of so many who believe it will destroy college football.

The specific example Terry Bowden is likely referring to is Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud signing an NIL deal with a luxury auto dealer. Stroud can now drive a $150,000 Bentley—or a $200,000 G-Wagon, or many other luxury vehicles—as he pleases.

For generations there has been a massive effort to make a clear distinction between professional and amateur athletes. But over time, the argument became semantic.

The current state of NIL is how some of the top college athletes in the country will be allowed to make money until it is properly enacted.

No twist from the hand of Terry Bowden or anyone else will change that.