One day after former Kansas State basketball player Nijel Pack announced his plans to transfer to Miami, another former K-Stater chimed in lamenting the NIL world college sports now exists in.
Jacob Pullen, who starred at Kansas State from 2008 to 2011, simply commented on Twitter on Sunday morning, “I could have been rich in college”.
Pullen was the first three-time team captain in K-State history, tied the school record with 95 wins and was the first player since Steven Henson to guide the school to three NCAA Tournament appearances. Individually, he ranks in the Top 10 in six career categories in Big 12 history, including second in free throws made (527), fourth in scoring (2,132) and free throws attempted (684), fifth in 3-point field goals made (299) and field goals attempted (1,600) and ninth in 3-point field goals attempted (828).
At 32 years old, Pullen is still earning a living playing hoops. He plays for KK Cedevita Olimpija in the top tier Slovenian Basketball League.
However, when looking at Nijel Pack, it seems like the main reason he ended up in South Florida was because a local attorney named John H. Ruiz revealed that Pack has signed a new NIL contract worth $800,000 with a company called LifeWallet.
That’s the kind of life-changing money that is now available to college athletes in the NIL world. Every off-season has become free agency.
Is it good or healthy for the sport? No way. That being said, I can’t fault these players for maximizing their potential in a capitalist environment. I would just do my best to try and have better guard rails on NIL, because right now it’s the Wild West.
And now, you’ve also got former players chiming in, and while I don’t want to speak for them, it sure doesn’t seem like there is a ton of enthusiasm around the NIL craziness from their perspective either.