WWE launched various programs over the years, and Next in Line is one of them. That said, they are not the only ones to utilize the NIL program as a variety of sports have used it for maximum efficiency. Now it appears Ron Simmons shared his thoughts on NCAA’s NIL program and doesn’t seem to support it entirely.
The NIL program in WWE has already produced some solid stars who transitioned from other competitive sports into professional wrestling, including the likes of Tiffany Stratton, Sol Ruca and others.
While speaking on the Duke Loves Rasslin podcast, WWE Hall Of Famer and former football player Ron Simmons talked about the NCAA Name, Image and Likeness program in general. Simmons proceeded to raise some valid points about the program.
One of his concerns is that college athletes who receive lucrative endorsement deals might lose their motivation to perform at their best on the field. This is a legitimate concern, as the temptation to focus on earning money outside of their sport might end up hindering their performance.
The WWE legend pointed out that the potential for inequality and conflict among college athletes if some players receive more endorsement deals than others. Simmons made it clear that he isn’t fully in support of the program.
“NIL is a perplexing subject. Let’s take it from the standpoint of my College Football Career. I was a 3 time All-American by my Junior Year. If NIL would have been instituted at that time, I probably would have gotten some lucrative deals. My problem with that is as a College Football Player am I going to be consistent with my inspiration to continue playing as hard on the Football field as I have been? That’s my worry! That’s a problem that I think some of the kids are going to run into. Once you’re 19 or 20 years old Brother, and they put $100,000 in your hand, We know that’s a recipe for disaster if you don’t have guidance.
Now don’t get me wrong, during my College days I was all for getting some kind of allowance or something to keep a kid going. Especially for a kid like myself who was parentless and didn’t have a Mother or Father to support me. But I think if you’re going to do these kinds of things, You have to level the playing field and not make it so one of the guys gets more than the others. There’s going to be some dissention among the players if that happens. That’s why you have kids bouncing from one place to another and never settling in and building the kind of comradery that I had with my teammates. My College Teammates and I are friends to this day Brother. So NIL has its pros and cons!”
It is to be noted that Simmons was talking about the program in general and not just WWE, even if WWE Next In Line is a part of the program. Regardless, there is certainly a lot of truth in what Simmons shared. Regardless, we’ll have to see whether WWE will continue to hire more athletes in the coming months.
What’s your view on what Ron Simmons said? Do you think he has a point? Sound off in the comments!