‘We’re Paying Players’ – Baylor Head Coach Dave Aranda Pulls No Punches on Recruiting Success

    Baylor head coach Dave Aranda has a way with words, and he didn’t mince any when speaking about the program’s recent recruiting success at the Big 12 Media Days. Just how are the Bears landing commitments? With the help of cold, hard cash.

    Baylor HC Dave Aranda Discusses Recruiting Success at Big 12 Media Days

    We are only 10 days into July, and Baylor has already landed three pledges: three-star DL Jackson Blackwell (July 1), three-star WR Jacorey Watson (July 2), and, the prized jewel of the Bears’ 2025 class thus far, four-star defensive lineman Kamauryn Morgan (July 7).

    Morgan, a top-100 athlete, is the highest-rated Baylor recruit since QB Jarrett Stidham in the 2015 class, and his commitment has boosted Aranda’s squad to No. 43 in recruiting rankings, according to 247Sports.

    When asked at Media Days what has prompted the program’s recent run, Aranda answered bluntly: “We’re paying players.”

    Since Baylor is a private institution, there is no public information regarding the school’s funding. Yet, we know the Bears aren’t hurting for money. Just last month, they received a $10 million donation, with a portion of the gift earmarked for the men’s basketball team.

    Thanks to recent new Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules in college athletics, there’s nothing wrong with Aranda’s response. However, the candidness will certainly ruffle some feathers.

    Amateurism has been dead for a couple of years now, and it’s not like Baylor is the only team using NIL money to land recruits. The entire Jaden Rashada fiasco with Florida was built on a failed NIL deal and highlighted how far the collegiate stage still has to go when it comes to protecting young athletes and ensuring they aren’t taken advantage of.

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    In fact, NIL deals have reached the high school level, although on a far less frequent basis. The rapidly evolving NIL landscape continues to reshape college sports, and Baylor’s straightforward approach is a testament to the new reality of recruitment.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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