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Are NILs Really Pay-For-Play? Penn State Hoops Coach Micah Shrewsberry Thinks So

Former Boston Celtics assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry is entering his second season as head coach of the Penn State men’s basketball program. The Nittany Lions hoops program needed a kick in the caboose, and the Indianapolis native has the résumé and pedigree to get the job done. 

(Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Although the new NIL rules have provided an unexpected dynamic or roadblock (depending on how you look at it) which makes it difficult for some schools to switch up course and get involved in high stakes poker with teenage recruits and their families, Shrewsberry isn’t making an excuse for the task ahead. 

New School NIL Rules 

He does, however, acknowledge the changing recruiting landscape and newfound challenges, as he said in an interview on “Mad Dog Sports” on Sirius/XM radio on Sunday. 

“NILs are little out of whack this Spring with how they are being implemented and turns more into pay-for-play than (capitalizing off) name image and likeness,” Shrewsberry said. 

It’s hard enough for Penn State to survive in a legendary conference such as the Big Ten. It’s even harder for the Nittany Lions to recruit and compete, because it has such lofty academic standards. The wiggle room and allowances for athletes who may not be of similar academic standing to the rest of the student body is much smaller for Penn State, than at Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois or other powerhouse Big Ten hoop programs.  

According to reports, Penn State’s student-athletes generally earn Academic Progress Reports scores higher than the nation’s public institutions, the 115+ Division I-A schools and all Division I institutions.

In fact, PSU ranked at No. 72 internationally, among 1,500 institutions evaluated in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Global Universities” 2020.

The recent NIL explosion, which has caused rifts between Power Five football coaches and become the focus of national recruiting wars, doesn’t help matters either, as Penn State is not known for competing in the bag dispersal game to lure recruits.

Read full story at The Shadow League here.

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