I’m sure by now you’ve seen the video of BYU football partnering with Built Bar to secure Name, Image and Likeness deals for all 36 walk-ons for the equivalent of their tuition costs. If you haven’t, take a moment to watch below:

This is incredible, and could be a life altering leg up for many of these young men. When you watch an event like this unfold, it’s hard to believe the NCAA spent decades not only standing in the way of corporations entering into mutually beneficial partnerships with the athletes, but doing all they could to make sure this money filtered directly into their “non-profit” offices to fund their operational budget and administrative staffs.

The initial reaction from college football fans all over the country seemed to be excitement, not only for these young men, but for all the possibilities that may have been unlocked for their school’s athletes as well.

“It’s a Brave New World! Companies can gain viral publicity ensuring that walk-ons aren’t stuck getting student loan repayments auto-debited well into their 50’s! My team might be able to hold onto some talent that develops into something special!”

Well, as Lee Corso might say, Not so fast my friend.

It might not seem like there’s a lot of parity in college football, with Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Ohio State all jockeying for position at the top, but the one thing that keeps hope alive for everybody that exists just outside the perennially elite rung of NCAA football teams is a little thing called scholarship limits.

You can only take an average of 25 scholarship players per year, and hold a limit of 85 overall scholarship players on the roster. When Alabama secures their recruiting class, which has been ranked 7th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st over the last 4 years, they’re not getting all the players that want to spend their college years getting chewed out by Nick Saban. They’re only getting a fraction of the aspiring Crimson Tide.

Now imagine that Alabama wasn’t encumbered by that 25 annual scholarship limit, or 85 overall scholarship limit at all. Imagine that any prospect that wanted to go to Alabama could do so, because a generous alumni was suddenly allowed to fully fund their football and educational experience, independent from the NCAA’s scholarship limit.

Well, you don’t have to imagine, because that’s where we’re at now. There is absolutely nothing stopping Nike-fueled Oregon, or oil wealth-soaked Texas, or the same boosters who bought Nick Saban’s house from ensuring that Alabama has the funding to secure Corporate Walk-On Scholarships for upwards of 40+ four-star or above recruits in any given class.

LeBron James’ super-teamification of sports has made its way to college football, and while BYU’s viral moment was both heart-warming, and a step in the right direction to break the grip of the NCAA over the ability to keep college athletes away from their own market value, we’re now left to ask the question… is parity officially dead?

George Wrighster and I get into all of that and more on this week’s episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast. Make sure and give it a listen.

Have a take you’d like us to read and address in a future article or on a future show? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll address your take.

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