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Florida head football coach Billy Napier is the latest to comment on the NIL’s wilderness, saying Thursday that the Gators will not use NIL funding in any bidding wars.
“We don’t operate that way, if that makes sense,” Napier said, via Sports Illustrated. “I think NIL is part of the decision. I think a lot of times when you’re really wondering why the player is leaving where he is, there are other factors. All of these situations are on a case-by-case basis, you I have to assess each situation independently of all the others.”
Napier, 42, is entering his first year as a head coach at Florida, and is doing it with NIL the conference talk. Nick Saban of Alabama and Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M took it to another level last week, during their public spat over each other’s programs.
Although Napier said that not all players will make decisions based on NIL, that doesn’t mean he won’t use it fully. Napier said he studied the NFL as a way to make sense of what’s happening in college football.
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“There’s no playbook for that in college football,” Napier said. “I study the National Football League because I think there are things to learn. Every player on our team that hasn’t been traded before is a free agent every year. That’s the only thing that we only miss the National Football League.
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Luge will be tough for Napier in the SEC’s freshman year, with Florida finishing a 6-7 season in which Dan Mullen was awarded third place after a 5-6 start. Using NIL to his advantage could be a way to spark rebuilding in Gainesville, with Georgia and Alabama to compete.
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As the days go by, and the more we’re on the court the more we get out,” Napier said. “We get to know people, NIL is going to be a slam dunk for the Florida Gators. “