Ohio State's Ryan Day expects to need $13M to keep roster intact
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day knows that the college football landscape has changed a great deal with the approval of the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) policy, which makes an already competitive recruiting landscape even more complicated.
When speaking to the Columbus business community on Thursday, Day said that he believes it will take $13 million to keep the Buckeyes' roster intact, per Cleveland.com.
Day said he believes that top quarterbacks require $2 million in NIL money, while offensive tackles and edge rushers require around $1 million. He added that he believes Ohio State is in real danger of losing some of its top recruits to rival schools if it can’t meet those thresholds.
Thursday's event was to unveil the school’s NIL Corporate Ambassador Program, which is designed to encourage the Columbus community to hire players through the school athletic department.
The NCAA approved the NIL policy last summer, and it went into effect on July 1, 2021. It allows all college athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness by making money from endorsements and sponsorships while retaining eligibility, as doing so will no longer violate NCAA rules for incoming and current student-athletes in all sports.
Since then, a reported 460,000-plus student-athletes across the U.S. have ended up working with local businesses or participating in one-off marketing campaigns with bigger brands.
Ohio State previously reported that its football players earned a combined $2.68 million across 173 deals as of January, making up 89.7% of the total compensation reported by OSU athletes.
In August 2021, former Buckeyes QB Quinn Ewers signed an NIL deal with GT Sports Marketing for $1.4 million after leaving high school a year early to enroll at Ohio State. The former five-star recruit hit the transfer portal in December 2021 after losing the starting role to C.J. Stroud and landed with Texas, where Ewers recently locked down a massive NIL deal with Epic Games and Fortnite.
Day fears that this could be a recurring issue with student-athletes as NIL deals become more accessible and more of a requirement for committing to and sticking with a school rather than an added bonus.
"Do you know how much Ohio State's athletic department made in a pandemic when you couldn't go to games? $107 million," he said. "Do you know how much Ohio State's athletic department made pre-pandemic? $234 million. And you're freaking out because $13 million may go to the players. You pay your coaching staff $25 million, and half of those guys you could lose them tomorrow.
"… Everybody else is getting paid. You can't pay the quarterback? Can't pay the pass-rusher at Ohio State? Come on now. Pay the kids."