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Missouri's Eli Drinkwitz Clarifies NIL Comments, Says He 'Fully' Supports Players

Adam Wells

Eli Drinkwitz clarified comments he made Tuesday about name, image and likeness rules to explain he fully supports college athletes being able to earn money.

The Missouri head coach said the amount of money being paid out to people in their late teens and early 20s is done in a "cavalier" manner and could lead to some unintended consequences without any proper regulation from the NCAA.

Drinkwitz was being criticized earlier in the day when his comment about athletes making more money than doctors was posted out of context:

There have been several coaches across the country who don't like the impact NIL is having on the college game.

Former Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim told reporters in February the sport was in an "awful place" and said Pittsburgh, Miami and Wake Forest bought their teams from the transfer portal.

Boeheim did apologize for those comments, but he's hardly alone in calling out the new reality of trying to build a roster with money available to players.

Mike Rodak of noted last year that all 14 SEC head football coaches, including Drinkwitz, met for two days to discuss the impact of NIL on the sport.

"As Coach Cutcliffe has shared with us, we may be down right now, but we're going to keep fighting," Drinkwitz said at the time. "We're going to figure this out, because this is a great game worth fighting for, and it would be a shame to lose it or to throw up our hands and walk away from it."

The NCAA has been pushing for federal NIL legislation from Congress, though there has been no movement in that regard thus far.

Drinkwitz signed a contract extension with the Tigers in November that increased his salary to $6 million in 2023 and up to $7 million in the final season in 2027. The 40-year-old is 17-19 in three seasons at Missouri with back-to-back losing records in 2021 and 2022.


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