The NCAA implemented rules to allow its athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL) just over one year ago, changing the landscape of college athletics forever. Athletes were finally allowed to profit of their popularity by earning revenue to sponsor businesses, host skills camps or even to garner appearance fees for different events.

College recruiting has become an even more cutthroat game in the era of NIL as athletes are taking earning potential into consideration when making decisions for their future.

College football stopped in May to watch the NIL spat between Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher. While Saban offended Fisher over his comments, The Goat's message to business leaders in Birmingham was simple, 'step up or get left behind'.

Saban is not alone in reaching out to supporters on the NIL front as the landscape of college football is evolving at a torrid pace. Auburn University's athletic director Allen Greene recently took to social media to outline the Tiger's progress and plead for its fans and alums to dig into their pockets to keep Auburn competitive.

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NIL is not supposed to be used in recruiting, per NCAA guidelines, but it's clear that it has seeped into that side of college athletics and currently there's no signs of it slowing down.

The Auburn Tigers currently sit with the No. 70 overall 2023 recruiting class in football, last in the SEC, with only four commitments to date. The Tigers finished with the No. 21 overall class in 2022, leaving many to question if head coach Bryan Harsin can get it done on the recruiting side.

 

Auburn University lays claim to two extremely powerful alumni in Great Southern Wood founder and CEO Jimmy Rane and current Apple CEO Tim Cook. Are Greene's comments indicative that the Tigers' deepest pockets aren't behind Harsin on the recruiting trail?

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