Buckeye quarterback C.J. Stroud to promote Canton car dealership in exchange for Bentley https://t.co/L91A6n8U9w— Columbus Dispatch (@DispatchAlerts) June 8, 2022
News came out on Wednesday that C.J. Stroud has received a Bentley Bentayga, valued at $150,000, after signing an endorsement contract with Sarchione Auto Gallery in Canton. There are reports that Stroud may have opted instead for a Mercedes AMG G Wagon, which is valued at $200,000. The quarterback also has the option to swap vehicles every 45-60 days. Either way, it sounds like Stroud is going to be driving around Columbus in style.
Just imagine how fast former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel’s head was spinning when he heard the news about Stroud’s deal with the Canton auto dealer. During his time as head coach of the Buckeyes, Tressel first had to deal with running back Maurice Clarett being investigated after Clarett reported items were stolen from a car, only to have that car belong to a car dealer. Then, after Tressel resigned for his role in the “Tatgate” scandal, Terrelle Pryor was investigated because there were questions about some of the cars that he was driving while he was a member of the Ohio State football team.
A little more than 10 years later, and student-athletes are free to make deals with automobile dealers. This just goes to show you that what Clarett and Pryor did wasn’t nearly as bad as many people around the country want you to think.
I have no issue with Stroud receiving a car, money, or other benefits for services he performs for car dealerships, or advertising for any other businesses that fall within NIL’s approved businesses. Even though many people want to cry about amateurism, college football makes so much money for the schools and conferences, the players should get a piece of the pie. And don’t tell me the scholarships that they receive is what the players are being paid, especially when a diploma isn’t quite what it used to be.
Of course, there are some risks with businesses putting so much into college athletes when it comes to the money or goods that are part of NIL deals. Just look at Quinn Ewers, who got a ton of money from Holy Kombucha, and an Ford F-250 truck from Ricart Automotive, all before he even took a snap at quarterback in college.
While Holy Kombucha still has a chance to capitalize off of Ewers’ notoriety since Ewers will likely see the field sooner rather than later at Texas, Ricart Automotive looked a little silly for giving a loaded truck to someone that should have still been in high school. Then again, Ricart likely sold the truck for more since they could advertise the truck as the one that Ewers drove.
CJ Stroud is pulling up to practice in a Bentley and his other teammates have…— Wholesome Grinch (@Grinch21188235) June 8, 2022
What is hilarious about the whole situation is the trolls that will try and say Stroud, or any other student-athlete that receives anything significant from NIL, is selfish. Last year, Stroud was a Heisman finalist, set school records, and led Ohio State to a win in the Rose Bowl. The Buckeye quarterback will likely be a Heisman finalist again this year, set even more school records, possibly lead the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff, and could be the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
It’s not like Stroud hasn’t already made NIL deals to help out the community in Columbus. Back in January, Stroud signed a deal with Morris Home, and as part of the deal Morris Home will donate to local organizations that with every mattress sold will help children in need get a bed of their own. Head coach Ryan Day has always done a great job to make sure Ohio State players are involved in the community. Those charitable efforts have only been strengthened by the introduction of NIL.
The only negatives I see of Stroud’s NIL deal with Sarchione Auto Gallery is I have seen how people around Columbus drive, so I’d be nervous to drive such an expensive car around. Also, you just know that some of the tow companies around the city are going to be on high alert, hoping to hook up whatever car Stroud is driving. The tow companies have already been overzealous to begin with, so you know they’ll all be wanting to grab such a high profile car to get as much money in fees as they can.
Other than that, I’m fine with these college football players getting as much as they can, while they can. Football is such a violent game, and all it takes is one play for everything to disappear. We all get so much enjoyment out of football, that it makes no sense to hate on players for getting what they can to entertain us. Those that aren’t for NIL are just jealous that they aren’t as desired for their skills as these talented student-athletes.