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Ludwig: Jordan Addison’s Exit Points Toward Ugly Future of College Football

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The name, image and likeness deals and NCAA transfer portal, by default, are strong concepts. It allows college athletes to profit off their performances, and admittedly, their potential, and the transfer portal is basically a free agency that allows college athletes to make instant moves.

Neither, at first glance, are issues that should raise concern. Is a freshman who hasn’t played a down of college football earning $1 million a surprising instance? Yes. Is a player being able to uproot and switch teams on a whim something to watch? Sure. How about when USC offers a multi-million dollar NIL deal to a college player already on scholarship across the country? What’s that?

It’s really, really screwed up.

Jordan Addison leaving Pitt, after expressing his commitment to remaining in Pittsburgh for his junior season, for USC is one thing. If the reports of USC offering Addison NIL deals worth upwards of $2 million are true, while Addison was a Pitt student-athlete, are true, it’s tampering. Illegal tampering from a program that also swiped Caleb Williams from Oklahoma.

Pitt brought Addison in as a four-star recruit in 2020, committing to playing him as a wide receiver, where others saw a defensive back, and he emerged as the best wide receiver in college football — winning the 2021 Biletnikoff Award. With two seasons in Pitt’s system, growing into a quiet leader in the offense, Addison is gone in the blink of an eye because USC flashed a few million before his eyes.

And, just to be sure here, this is in no way a criticism of Addison. The football business is fickle, and if Addison can secure a few million dollars to support himself and his family, no one should fault him. However, how is USC’s pursuit legal in any way?

USC, led by Lincoln Riley, has led an assault on opposing college programs, and if this is the future of college football then Pitt — and every other non-blue blood — is screwed.

If you’re not Alabama, USC, Texas A&M or any other blue blood or program with donors featuring insanely deep pockets, you’re done. How can Pitt compete with USC’s reserves of cash and opportunities? They can’t. Is it fair that Pitt recruited, developed and showcased Addison just to lose him for a couple million dollars? No. Is that the future? Yes.

But at the end of the day, Addison — without a doubt — picked up his USC opportunity while he was a Pitt student-athlete. And that is illegal tampering. You can spin it any way you want, but USC swayed a Pitt student-athlete with the promises of financial opportunity. That’s illegal.

But, unfortunately, that may be the new norm of college football is swift action isn’t taken to prevent instances like this. And if this is only the beginning for Pitt, well, college football is headed down a dark path toward the same four schools competing for anything.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Krackerjack Kid
Krackerjack Kid
28 days ago

This is pretty much spot-on, expect for the point that this isn’t on Addison. This is mostly on Addison. He has allowed USC to do this. He’s not a child. He’s not a victim. He’s just cashing out and it speaks to his ethics, which he has none. He committed to Pitt. They recruited players (or didn’t bring a WR to Pitt this off season) and developed an offense around him. He denied another player to get on campus when he further stated that he was coming back. The guy is not unlike most players these days. He’s selfish. His… Read more »

Charlie
Charlie
28 days ago

Addison is making a short term play. He will get his 2 million (1.2 after taxes and legal fees). Next year, tinsel-town will be paying the next golden boy and Addison will be forgotten. He could stay at Pitt, become Pitt folklore and have a permanent sports endorsement in Pittsburgh paying him 250k to 400k for the next 10 years. The Pittsburgh market is loyal to their heroes. He is also risking his NFL draft status. He will not put up the numbers at USC and he will at Pitt. USC is in rebuild. Addison could have a disappointing season… Read more »

Larry
Larry
28 days ago

Right…so if someone offers you a couple million to leave your job you’re not going to take it because you have ethics and wanted to stick with current job because you’re so committed? K. Keep telling yourself you’re so much better than him because if you were in the same spot you’d stay at Pitt instead of taking the money.

Troy
27 days ago

Man whatever there is no loyalty from these so called institutions of higher learning either,they habe pimping these kids as well especially the black athlete,times has change,these kids can get money playing a sport they love in college hell get as much as you can I say the hell with ncaa and these universities,it’s only a problem when that player who is good is leaving your school for better opportunity???? Whatever

John doe
John doe
26 days ago
Reply to  Troy

I guess a free education that’ll last a lifetime, unlike the ability to play football on a knee totally reconstructed , isn’t enough , for kids , who otherwise would not get an academic scholarship. It’s an opportunity in and of itself of a lifetime to make their lives better to get an education. Period.

John Q Public
John Q Public
28 days ago

He isn’t in the portal yet. Are you saying this is a done deal?

Krackerjack Kid
Krackerjack Kid
28 days ago
Reply to  John Q Public

Even if he doesn’t leave, look at all the damage he’s done with all this drama.

Good riddance.

Dave
Dave
28 days ago
Reply to  John Q Public

I don’t blame him at all. If another company offers you 2 million, you aren’t taking it? You cannot pass up life changing money

Krackerjack Kid
Krackerjack Kid
28 days ago
Reply to  Dave

You are missing the context of this discussion. That’s a terrible analogy.

Imagine trying to run professional sports like this. In addition, you realize these are supposed to be college players.

Rich Johnson
Rich Johnson
27 days ago

For years these kids were eating Ramon noodles because they were broke, while the Universities raked in cash on the backs of Athletes blood sweat and tears. Its about time they get something back. Tell me when is the last time an AD or Coach scored a point or Touchdown, they get Millions.

John doe
John doe
26 days ago
Reply to  Rich Johnson

I’m pretty certain that div 1 college football players are not eating ramen noodles. Don’t confuse them with the other poor kids who are working 1-2 jobs to put themselves through college to get an EDUCATION. I guess it’s up to the “student athlete” if they want to take advantage of the free opportunity that every other poor individuals or poor families eating ramen sacrifice so much for. I guess it comes down to what the kid is made of and what they perceive as important .

TJ
TJ
28 days ago

This has been going on for years, albeit under the table. Now it’s out in the open and everyone visibly can see how it really is. Maybe we need to step up our game, or rather our war chest. This is not your grandfather’s college football. H2P!

Rich Johnson
Rich Johnson
28 days ago
Reply to  TJ

Amen.

Jackagain
Jackagain
28 days ago
Reply to  TJ

Pitt has no war chest….they have a petty cash drawer.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
28 days ago

Spot on…I wrote the same thing in another article earlier. If you aren’t a blue blood then you are a farm team that develops players only to see them bolt. The pockets of Texas, USC, etc. are unmatched. Texas gave a million to Quinn Evers before he even played a snap (and allowed OSU to teach him for a year which cost them nothing). You will soon see Oregon (with Nike pockets) and Oklahoma State with all that T. Boone Pickens history/money start buying titles. Did Snoop Dog pay the 2 million? This is a joke and with football in… Read more »

Rich Johnson
Rich Johnson
28 days ago

How can anyone say this kid is selfish. If any one of you guys were offered a job doing what you love, for a hell of a lot more money, you would jump ship too. I don’t like it, but he is just doing what’s best for his family and himself. Do you know his family’s financial situation? The selfish person is the one who would deny anyone the opportunity to better themselves for their own entertainment.. What this kid is doing is legal, be mad at the NCAA for opening the flood gates, this is just the beginning..

Paul
Paul
28 days ago
Reply to  Rich Johnson

I agree with you. As much as I would like to blame him, This isn’t on Addison. Everyone has a price and obviously usc met his price. This is 100% on the ncaa and all the people who kept saying that the players should be able to get paid. Anybody with a brain knew that once the floodgates were opened with this NIL bs that it would end up up in bidding wars . College football is forever ruined. It was once my favorite sport to follow, Now I’ll never watch another game.

Charlie
Charlie
28 days ago
Reply to  Rich Johnson

Addison is making a short term play. He will get his 2 million (1.2 after taxes and legal fees). Next year, tinsel-town will be paying the next golden boy and Addison will be forgotten. He could stay at Pitt, become Pitt folklore and have a permanent sports endorsement in Pittsburgh paying him 250k to 400k for the next 10 years. The Pittsburgh market is loyal to their heroes. He is also risking his NFL draft status. He will not put up the numbers at USC and he will at Pitt. USC is in rebuild. Addison could have a disappointing season… Read more »

Terrence
Terrence
28 days ago

To me if the ncaa continues to use a blind eye to this bullshit then then the non blue bloods need to break off on there own

Charlie
Charlie
28 days ago

Goodbye Jordan. He is making a mistake. Regarding NIL and endorsements, Addison is making a short term play. He will get his 2 million (1.2 after taxes and legal fees). Next year, tinsel-town will be paying the next golden boy and Addison will be forgotten. He could stay at Pitt, become Pitt folklore and have a permanent sports endorsement in Pittsburgh paying him 250k to 400k for the next 10 years. The Pittsburgh market is loyal to their heroes. He is also risking his NFL draft status. He will not put up the numbers at USC and he will at… Read more »

Jackagain
Jackagain
28 days ago

Looks like I’m done with college football. I’ll stick to the pro’s from now on. I might as well be rooting for the Pirates now, they have as good a chance to win the World Series as Pitt does from here on out. (none)

Giovanni
Giovanni
28 days ago

NCAA = ‘No Cerebral Attributes at All’.
They have ruined the game rather than doing their jobs to make decisions to enhance it. It’s not about entertaining the fans anymore, just $$, which is a travesty. Anyone with a brain can see how this idiotic policy is going to end.

Last edited 28 days ago by Giovanni
Mpop
Mpop
27 days ago

“USC” didn’t offer any deal to this kid. NIL deals don’t come from the schools, they come from sources outside the universities. Yes, SC benefits from it but there is absolutely no indication that the school or coaching staff had any influence on it. Once he entered the portal, of course they were going to go after him. FWIW, the decision on NIL was incredibly short sighted and not established with appropriate regulations. It will absolutely benefit the programs in major media markets and those with deep pockets. It is awful for the future of college sports. But don’t blame… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Mpop
Skorpa
Skorpa
27 days ago

There’s no proof USC has offered anything. After all of the trouble USC has had, you can be sure their compliance people are staying on the right side of the line. Perhaps right up against it, but not crossing it.

Michael McPoland
Michael McPoland
27 days ago

Why are other schools like PSU not having their players poached? This practice is unseemly and should be reviewd by the NCAA. DIMINISHES college football.

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