Alabama football now has third-party NIL collective: Here's what we know
Alabama football is officially in the NIL collective space, and that's significant.
Having an NIL collective has become necessary to stay at the forefront of college football in the era of Name, Image and Likeness. The Crimson Tide isn't the first to have one, and it won't be the last.
It's the latest to have an NIL collective, which are donor and business fueled. These collectives, run by third parties, help facilitate as well as create NIL deals. On3 reported that every Power 5 school is expected to have at least one NIL collective in the next few months.
Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee already each have one, and more will likely join soon.
"High Tide Traditions was established to harness the power of Name, Image, and Likeness with student-athletes to make and propel positive business relationships across the city, state, region and nation," the mission statement reads. "Through strategic partnerships utilizing data analytics, it is important to High Tide Traditions that student-athletes will be engaged in amplifying the exposure for our business partners through relatable and authentic content, appearances, and other mutually beneficial services."
High Tide Traditions exists only for UA athletes. It's not affiliated with UA because NIL rules prohibit that, but the collective works with UA compliance, licensing, legal and Crimson Tide Sports Marketing to make sure everything is compliant with NIL rules, which were established began in July 2021.
Larry Morris, a retired lawyer and longtime supporter, started High Tide Traditions, Alabama Athletic Director Greg Byrne said Monday on "Hey Coach."
"He understands in this world that we're in today that we need to make sure we're staying competitive," Byrne said.
Opportunities have already begun through the NIL collective. It posted a photo of freshman offensive lineman Tyler Booker signing an NIL deal Monday.
Compensation that the collective facilitates won't all be equal. It depends on what an athlete's name, image and likeness is being used for and how high-profile the athlete is.
The NIL collective won't be able to use NIL deals as a means to bring recruits to UA, though. "NIL compensation cannot be structured in a way that encourages or solicits a prospective student-athlete's enrollment at a particular institution," High Tide Traditions wrote on its website.
But athletes will likely take note of what kind of NIL opportunities await at each school they are considering.
"Just like anything else, we live in a very competitive world," Byrne said. "As soon as we knew name, image and likeness was going to be part of college athletics, it was going to be part of recruiting. Obviously young men and young women are going to be paying attention to where they think the best place for them is to go to school, academically, competitively, from a coaching standpoint, and name, image and likeness is going to be a part of that."
Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly