This year is Billy Napier’s first season as Florida’s head coach, but he has already been thrown into the SEC fire with talk about NIL. While Alabama and Texas A&M feud over who is potentially abusing the new policy, Napier said Florida will not use NIL funding in possible bidding wars, claiming that players won’t solely make decisions off that.
“We don’t operate that way, if that makes sense,” Napier said. “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.”
However, that doesn’t mean Florida will sit out of the NIL game altogether. To prepare for how to use NIL in recruitment, Napier added he can’t look in college football for the answer, so he’s looking at another industry for help.
“There’s no manual for this in college football,” he 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.”
While Napier gets comfortable with his new position, he is confident the Gators will be able to use NIL successfully in the future.
“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.”
Florida finished 6–7 overall last year, but 2–6 in conference, which led to the firing of Dan Mullen. Napier arrives after a successful stint at Louisiana, but he is going to need to navigate the NIL waters to repeat that success in a stronger conference.
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For more Florida coverage, go to All Gators.