Ryan Kartje of the LA Times has reported that "a donor-run NIL collective is coming to USC football." That of course sounds awesome. It's an opportunity for USC to compete in recruiting with schools like Texas A&M, Miami, and Ohio State who have significant NIL collectives in place.
However, Kartje explained that there's already some controversy involved in this endeavor. A subscription is required to read the article, but Kartje did explain the gist of what's happening in a length Twitter thread. "Student Body Right" is the name of this collective, and it "is planning to provide 'the equivalent of a base salary' to every Trojan football player."
Again, this sounds fantastic, right? Giving ALL players the chance to make an initial salary due to the hard work they put forth for the school? Well, Kartje explains why it's not that simple. He reports that the collective "is planning to do so against the school's wishes."
This new NIL collective better not get in the way of a new and improved USC athletic department.
"USC launched BLVD LLC in June with the intent of staving off the rise of an outside NIL collective, like Student Body Right," said Kartje. "Within USC, the collective is being viewed as an existential threat that could invite serious scrutiny."
USC is finally making the right administrative decisions around the program. Why are the boosters now deciding to change things? It's a little questionable. If everything comes together and it works, then it will be amazing and so much would be rolling USC's way.
Remember when Josh Conerly spurned USC for Oregon's NIL collective? Good luck trying that again if Student Body Right works how the boosters want it to. Kartje continues on Twitter:
"Dale Rech, a co-founder of Student Body Right, has no such concerns," said Kartje. "A lifelong USC fan and Florida businessman, Rech outlined some of his plans for USC's collective to the LA Times, including filing for status as a 501c3 charitable organization."
Is BLVD enough? Well, Kartje reports that USC still thinks so. After all, it was exciting for many fans when it first came out and was being flexed on social media.
"USC fans have called for a collective for months, but at USC, there's still confidence in BLVD, which Mike Jones, CEO of Stay Doubted, is calling 'a collective-plus,'" said Kartje. "Jones says BLVD is 'looking at eight-figures-plus annually' in private donations."
Kartje outlined some of the numbers a little bit further on just what exactly BLVD hopes to bring to USC student-athletes:
"The fundraising goal for BLVD is currently set at $75 million by 2026, per a donor presentation viewed by the LA Times," said Kartje. "That's $15 million per year in NIL money at USC."
Perhaps USC is fine with that number, but one thing is for SURE: Student Body Right is absolutely not. Kartje finished his thread with by explaining that dynamic between the school, BLVD, and Student Body Right.
"Student Body Right believes it can co-exist with BLVD. USC doesn't feel the same way. But can it do anything about it? Not really.
'We’re not taking away from BLVD,' Rech said. 'We’re filling a gap of money that they weren’t going to get anyway.'”
Well, if Student Body Right really takes off here, they better figure out how to do everything legally. USC has had the greatest offseason in program history, and finally begun to nail seemingly every single administrative decision out there in these past eight-plus months.
The last thing they need is for another Death Penalty to be a possibility flying around USC's heads, and for it to not even be something the athletic department can control.