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Florida head football coach Billy Napier is the latest to give his opinion on the wild west nature of NIL, saying Thursday that the Gators will not use NIL funding in potential bidding wars.
“We don’t operate that way, if that makes sense,”Napier said, via Sports Illustrated. “I think that NIL is a portion of the decision. I think a lot of times when you really dig into ‘why is the player leaving where he’s at,’ there are other factors. All these situations are case-by-case, you’ve got to evaluate each situation independent of all the others.”
Napier, 42, is entering his first year as head coach at Florida, and does so with NIL the talk of the conference. Alabama’s Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher took it to another level last week, during their public spat on each other’s programs.
While Napier said that not all players will make decisions based squarely on NIL, that doesn’t mean he won’t use it altogether. Napier said he’s studied the NFL as a way to make sense of what’s going on in college football.
“There’s no manual for this in college football,” Napier said. “I’ve been studying the National Football League because I think there are some things to learn. Every player on our team who hasn’t transferred before is a free agent every year. That’s the one thing that we lack that the National Football League has.”
It’ll be tough sledding for Napier in year one in the SEC, with Florida coming off a 6-7 season in which Dan Mullen received third prize after a 5-6 start. Using NIL to his advantage could be a way to spark the rebuild in Gainesville, with the likes of Georgia and Alabama to compete with.
As every day goes by, and the more that we are boots on the ground as we get out,” Napier said. “We get to know people, NIL is going to be a slam dunk for the Florida Gators.”