The Marty Smith Podcast: Former Ohio State Star Joshua Perry Shares His Opinion on NIL Deals

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former Ohio State and NFL linebacker turned sports analyst and host Joshua Perry joined us on The Marty Smith Podcast this week. Marty and the guys talked plenty of college football with Perry during his appearance on the show. They spoke about Perry and his 2014 Buckeyes team winning the NCAA National Championship. They chatted about the heated rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan. Plus, they got Perry’s take on the current state of collegiate athletics as he shared his opinion about players and NIL deals.

Joshua Perry grew up in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio and was raised to be an OSU fan. Grey and scarlet were in his blood from an early age. He’d go on to represent the school he loved as he ended up playing for his hometown university. Perry attended OSU and played linebacker for the Buckeyes from 2012 to 2015. However, during the years he played in Columbus, the landscape of college football looked very different than it does today.

Even though he’s only 28 years old and his time at OSU came to an end only seven years ago, collegiate athletics are very different today than they were for Perry and his teammates. That’s because in July 2021, the NCAA ruled that student-athletes could officially make money off their name, image, and likeness (NIL). Therefore, as of the last year, collegiate athletes have been able to cash in on sponsorship and endorsement deals. And no one has benefited from that more than elite college football and basketball players.

The host of The Marty Smith Podcast has known Joshua Perry since OSU’s championship run in 2014. In fact, Marty covered that Buckeyes team for ESPN. Our host knew Perry and his teammates well, and he knows how much money they could’ve made during their time in Columbus if NIL deals were allowed back then. Marty broached that subject and asked the former star linebacker his thoughts on the recent changes to college football.

Joshua Perry Shares Why He Likes NIL Deals for Student-Athletes

“This NIL thing is interesting, man. Those guys in the locker room with you would’ve made a lotta loot,” Marty Smith said to Joshua Perry. “How do you view it? And in your opinion, what is the best formula for NIL for everyone involved?”

Perry started out by saying that he’s all for the NIL deals, especially since college football makes so much money that goes to everyone except the players. Coaching salaries have skyrocketed, universities are building world-class facilities that cost millions, and TV deals are now worth billions. Long gone are the days of “amateurism” in college football, Perry said.

“I love the opportunity for the athletes,” Perry shared on The Marty Smith Podcast. “Does watching C.J. Stroud pull up in a $200,000 Mercedes bother me at all? Absolutely not. He’s the starting quarterback at the Ohio State University. And if his market value says he’s worth a Mercedes, that’s exactly what he’s worth.”

The former player also thinks the NIL deals benefit female student-athletes who play non-revenue sports. Some are able to cash in on their popularity and huge social media followings, which wasn’t an option previously.

“For some of these athletes that aren’t on full scholarship, they can pay their tuition without going into debt. Which is something we look at it in society and say, ‘Hey, this thing is on fire, there’s a problem.’ I like that opportunity for [female student-athletes] too,” Perry added.

Joshua Perry Voices Concerns About the Current State of NIL Deals

As the former Ohio State linebacker continued, he spoke candidly about some of the issues with NIL deals. While the deals benefit many players, there’s also real concern that some individuals could take advantage of these young men and women.

“The thing that troubles me and the thing that I worry about the most is that young athletes are extremely vulnerable and can be taken advantage of,” Joshua Perry explained. “So I’m a little bit leery of these collectives that have popped up and the roll they’re playing, especially in high school recruiting. I’d like to see something done about those and how we could potentially regulate that.”

“I see way more positives than negatives coming out of this thing,” Perry said. “I just think that there needs to be some guard rails on how we can make sure that young people don’t get taken advantage of.”

Joshua Perry talks about that and much more on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out the entire podcast in the video above, or listen to their full conversation on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.