BYU’s Walk-On NIL Deal Is Key To Keeping Players From Entering Portal

Mar 14, 2022, 2:44 PM
BYU Football - Ed Lamb - Kalani Sitake...
BYU assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and safeties coach Ed Lamb talks with head coach Kalani Sitake as the BYU Cougars and the Idaho State Bengals play at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football has always had an extremely strong walk-on program with a number of those players going on to see significant playing time and ultimately earning a scholarship.

In the era of players able to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness, the Cougars are excelling even more with a deal the team has with Built Bar that covers tuition for walk-ons, plus another $1,000 for scholarship players.

The NCAA is looking into these types of deals but with NIL being so new and rules varying by state it is going to be extremely hard for the NCAA to crack down on deals like BYU’s.

These types of deals are huge in keeping athletes on BYU’s roster and out of the transfer portal. They don’t get cost of attendance like scholarship athletes earn, but not having to worry about paying for school or getting a job is a huge benefit.

BYU’s assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Ed Lamb joined Unrivaled and noted how valuable their team-wide NIL deal is in keeping players from entering the transfer portal.

“We really worry about losing those walk-ons each year to transfer opportunities,” Lamb said. “I thought that last year when Built Bar made that announcement and for a lot of our guys it took the pressure off of them, it wasn’t about necessarily the money of earning a scholarship.

“If they still felt like there was a better place for them, they obviously still have that option, but I thought it helped us retain players. Recruiting-wise we have to be really careful about using it because Built Bar has the option to do that each year or not do that, and we also can’t promise it to any walk-on. There’s still some rules that we have to follow as far as what that name, image, and likeness.”

NIL deals can’t be pay for play or entice players with a deal that will be guaranteed during the recruiting process. 

How To Gauge Intensity During Spring Football

BYU is heading into its third week of spring football and with so many starters and key contributors back from last year’s team, the type of practices are different based on players and coaches returning.

The Cougars are settled at a lot of positions like quarterback, tight end, wide receivers, and most of the defense. One of the few starting positions is up for grabs is the running back vacancy left by Tyler Allgeier who put his name into the NFL Draft.

Coach Lamb noted that with so many players back there is no real need to be extremely physical and they can still figure out the depth chart heading into 2022 without needing as many full-padded or extremely physical practices.

“I think every team every year is a little different. Like the number of returning starters certainly would be a major criteria,” Lamb said. “How much work do we need with live tackle football? I think we don’t need a lot of that. There’s some good physicality, some good spirits, and good competition, but we haven’t purposely put anybody on the ground yet.”

It takes a seasoned coach like Lamb who has been around a number of programs to help understand a team’s needs when it comes to practice. 

With so much experience back for the Cougars, spring practice doesn’t need to be used to figure out who is the starter at the majority of the positions. Instead, they can focus on installing new plays and schemes to get better as a team overall. So, there is not much need for full-contact football just to figure out who the starters are but just fine-tuning and adding to the playbook.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-7 p .m. on 1280 The Zone and 97.5 FM or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

KSL Unrivaled

Jeremy Mauss

Utah Football Eyes Winning Third-Straight Pac-12 Championship

During the first day of spring football, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham preached about winning a third straight Pac-12 title.
2 days ago
Utah athletic director Mark Harlan...
Michelle Bodkin

Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan: I Am Tired Of Outside Forces Creating Narratives Involving Utah, Our Conference

Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan set the record straight on the Pac-12 media rights negotiations and why he chose to speak up.
13 days ago
Jeremy Mauss

Can Utah Jazz Build Dynasty With Draft Picks?

The Utah Jazz must get into the NBA Draft lottery if they want to improve quickly and compete for an NBA title.
1 month ago
Jeremy Mauss

Gov. Spencer Cox Is Optimistic Utah Can Land NHL Or MLB Franchise

Can Utah support another pro sports franchise?
1 month ago
Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox gives his report on the Utah Jazz to the KSL cameras before the Jazz game...
Jeremy Mauss

Is Will Hardy The Best NBA Coach? Utah Governor Spencer Cox Thinks So

Spencer Cox talked about Will Hard and Utah Jazz All-Stars.
1 month ago

Unrivaled: What are the odds… Lauri Markkanen Wins The Three-Point Contest?

Can the Jazz All-Star Lauri Markkanen light it up in the three-point contest?
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
BYU’s Walk-On NIL Deal Is Key To Keeping Players From Entering Portal