CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 25: North Carolina State Wolfpack players celebrate after a missed field goal in overtime by the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Memorial Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Wolfpack won 30-27 in overtime.

NIL, or Name Image and Likeness, is the newest obstacle facing teams in college football. The policy allows athletes to profit off of their names by signing autographs, selling merchandise, endorsing products, and other ways. While I agree that these opportunities should be open for players, I do personally feel there need to be a few more restrictions placed on the policy. Otherwise, it’s a slippery slope that could change the landscape of college football forever. It may already have. And in a league that is already top-heavy and hard to break into the elite fraternity of national title contenders, well money shouldn’t be the hindrance. NFL teams have salary caps, which will most likely need to be instituted at the collegiate level as well. But it’s the world we live in, and schools are adapting. And one North Carolina university has stepped up in a big way. The NIL Collective representing NC State University, announced yesterday all football players will be eligible tobe paid $25,000 next year from the fund.

The Program

The only caveat is that players will have to do community service each month. This seems to be a very fair trade-off. Players of course will have the opportunity to earn well above that mark. This can be done with endorsements, merch sales, and participating in other events. Several local charities have already signed on to participate in the program. These include Gigi’s Playhouse of Raleigh, N.C., the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County, Dress for Success Triangle N.C., The Harrelson Center of Wilmington, N.C., SAFEchild, and the Food Bank of Central &  Eastern North Carolina.

The program is called “Leading The Pack” and will help ensure NC State remains competitive in the NIL era. Do you think college athletes such as those at NC State football players should be paid to play the game? As someone who spent some time as a college athlete, though not on scholarship, it is a ton of work and commitment. When it’s something you love you very well would do it anyway. But if you have the choice to go somewhere where you can earn money or somewhere you can’t? Well for most 18-22 year olds that’s a no-brainer.

Like it or not this is the face of college athletics these days. I do expect in the coming years some of the programs will be reeled in. While deals are most often kept on the down low, top recruits such as Arch Manning are being coerced into signing with programs with the promise of making millions of dollars. For schools with huge alumni bases, willing to invests in the program, it gives a huge advantage. But that doesn’t always translate. Look at Texas A&M, a preseason top-10 team. They spent some of the most money in the country through NIL for this season. And the team didn’t even manage to get six wins and become bowl eligible.

The Best Moments From College Football Rivalry Weekend

In my mind there is no debate for the best sport- it’s college football all day. There is just something about the atmosphere that is unbeatable and lost once you get to the NFL. Don’t get me wrong, I love NFL too, but the passion and rivalries, and importance of each individual game make college football superior. And nothing sums up the emotions of the sport like rivalry weekend. College football rivalry weekend is traditionally the weekend after Thanksgiving and is full of the biggest matchups. Better to get that Thanksgiving meal in before families are divided! Ohio State and Michigan. Auburn and Alabama. USC and Notre Dame. Locally South Carolina and Clemson. NC State and North Carolina. Duke and Wake Forest.

There was a lot riding on several of these matchups this weekend, which only adds fuel to fire. The celebrations are emotional and the losses are brutal. And what a weekend it was. I’m biased as both teams I cheer for (my alma mater NC State and my mom’s South Carolina) were both victorious this weekend in games that came down to the last minute. And can you ask for anything more? These games are what make the sport great. The pure unadulterated hatred. Bragging rights for a year over your neighbors and co-workers. Professional sports fan bases are more separated. But college? You live, work, and play with “the enemy”. Making the moments ever so special. And like they always say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So let’s look at some of the images that best sum up college football rivalry weekend 2022.

  • USC 38 Notre Dame 27

    It’s all in the details for USC quarterback Caleb Williams. Just check out his feelings painted on his nails.

  • Oregon State 38 Oregon 34

    Who said crowd surfing was just for rock stars? The Oregon State beaver couldn’t help himself and jumped into the crowd after a defeat of Oregon.

  • Michigan 45 Ohio State 23

    While I don’t condone the behavior, the fights and words exchanged between teams like Michigan, who won at OSU for the first time since 2006, and Ohio State. And with everything on the line between the number 2 and 3 team in the country, it was clear these teams do not like each other.

  • South Carolina 31 Clemson 30

    Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler lit one up after beating arch-rivals Clemson for the first time in 7 years. They also ended the longest home winning streak in the country and ended any hopes the tigers had at making the college football playoff.

  • Mississippi State 24 Ole Miss 22

    In a game called the “Egg Bowl” that came down to a missed kick the emotions say it all.

  • NC State 30 UNC 27

    It took double overtime but NC State was victorious over rival UNC Friday afternoon. The Wolfpack were led by 4th string quarterback Ben Finley who reveled in the celebration by planting the flag on the UNC logo at midfield. NC State has dubbed the Tarheel’s Keenan Stadium as “Carter Finely West” a nod to winning 4 of the last 5 games there.

  • Florida State 45 Florida 38

    That’s a lot of fans of the field after a close victory by the Noles against in-state rivals Florida. FSU jumped to 14 in the national polls after the win in which they were favored. Looks like third-year coach Mike Norvell is getting things figured out in Tallahassee.