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  • MAILBAG! Coaching salaries in the NIL era, EA Sports release dates, and more:

MAILBAG! Coaching salaries in the NIL era, EA Sports release dates, and more:

It's been a few days. Let's try to answer some questions.

Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.

It’s been a few weeks since we did a good ol’ fashioned mailbag, so let me take some time to answer some of your questions. As always, I accept questions on a rolling basis from email (Matt @ Extrapointsmb dot com), Twitter (@MattBrownEP), Bluesky (Matt.Brown) or the DMs.

First, reader Allan asks,

Good question!

First, we need to remember that money used to pay coaching salaries and money used to induce or retain athletes via NIL payments…are not the same money.

Washington (or anybody else) can use booster money to pay for a new coach, but they can also use the earned revenue from the athletic department. Ticket sales, Big Ten conference distributions, NCAA Tournament Units, all of that can’t be used to directly compensate athletes, but could be used to pay coaches. You can’t exactly argue that a school should pay a coach less and redistribute the difference to athletes, because not all the money out there is fungible.

In a few years? Yeah, I’ve argued several times that I believe most schools will pay coaches (and assistant coaches, and many administrators) less money so the schools can better afford to directly compensate athletes. But that’s not where we are in 2024.

The best data that I’ve seen in my reporting indicates that “NIL budget” is very important in recruiting, but it isn’t automatically the most important factor, nor is it the only factor….just like how underground bagman money was an important factor in recruiting prior to NIL, but not the only consideration. Athletes also want to attend schools where they can earn playing time, develop into professional athletes, win lots of games, have their family and friends watch them compete, and where they feel valued and accepted educationally, socially, romantically, and more.

Washington, as an athletic department, is going to make substantially less money from conference distributions than most of their Big Ten peers to start 2024. But I’d still expect Washington to sign more talented football players than, say, Purdue or Iowa or Minnesota. Location, history, fanbase, development…all of that matters too.

I don’t have a strong opinion about who Washington should have hired as their head coach, although I know schools lose leverage a little bit when they suddenly need to make an outside hire in mid-January. I know Washington will need to be competitive in offering NIL opportunities (brand-based and bagman-based) if they want to recruit and retain great players. But if they don’t have a great head coach and a great staff, the NIL stuff won’t be enough for them to compete for titles.

Okay, here’s a question from, uh, roughly every 5th person on the internet


I tweeted most of this on Tuesday, but here’s what I know.

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