An alternate to NIL recruiting; Start with a geographic tether

In my opinion, the next best thing to having bragging rights to a successful Purdue athletic program is reflecting on the history of athletes who came from the great state of Indiana. Of course that’s tempered by those whom made the decision to go to that other school known for throwing folding chairs.

When I look at a roster I look at home towns. It’s good to see Indiana athletes stay in the state where they excelled in high school - even better if they made the decision to go to Purdue.

There’s been discussions of a split in the NCAA where one association’s member schools chase players with NIL money and is more of a pro farm league, and a second association which tries to minimize the money incentive for recruitment. What if that new association started with the premise of "you go to an in-state school"? For starters, it would provide 49 reasons for an athlete to not consider a distant school.

There would need to be rules for what constitutes residency, and what to do about foreign students. And there would still be the in-state recruitment competition between schools for the stars. But if this association was the place for players whom weren’t chasing NIL and a professional career, maybe a balance of power would be achieved.

There would be more excitement for the local fans who may not have attended that school. What local resident, newspaper, radio or TV station doesn't like to get behind the hometown hero?

Think of the tournament possibilities. Split some of the larger states like CA and TX into 2 or 3 geographic regions until you have 64 states / regions, each getting one spot in the end-of-the-season playoffs (for basketball at least). Maybe even hold a superbowl of college sports with the NCAA champ playing the winner of the new league.

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