Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Intrigued Where Fair Pay to Play Act Leads

October 19, 2019

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey was a little more open about the Fair Pay to Play Act than football coach Brian Kelly.

Brey isn’t opposed to student-athletes have the chance to earn compensation as the regular students are able to profit off their likeness or run businesses.

“I think it’s fair to be able to do some things,” Brey stated this week. “Again, normal students can. We have students over there who have created a business. Our guys should be able to do some stuff. Getting our arms around it will be a battle.”

Grasping a concept favorable to student-athletes while also making sure it’s not run like the wild west will be a challenge, but Brey is confident Jack Swarbrick will be at the forefront of any changes.

“The one thing that’s going to be clear is our Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick is going to be a real leader in this, which is great,” said Brey. “He’s been on it every day. I do feel good that Jack is trying to take a lead on this. These are the kind of things he’s great at. Analyzing it and trying to figure it all out. He’s also very progressive.”

While many Notre Dame fans are split on Swarbrick, there is no denying he excels in these situations as Notre Dame kept its independent status in football while getting into the ACC and Big Ten in other sports.

Brey is putting that faith in Swarbrick, but that doesn’t mean he is comfortable with the unknown.

“There’s no question we’re going to be something along those lines probably sooner than 2023 because it’s moving so fast,” explained Brey. “I don’t know how to get my arms around it all, especially the recruiting piece of it. It is going to happen and it’s coming, so let’s see if we can get out ahead of it and get prepared.”

The recruiting piece will be fascinating to track as high school prospects across the country have received money under the table for years.

Recruiting might be a significant factor, but there are also many levels to the act and Brey will be paying close attention to it.

“The Social Media aspect of it – that’s got to be addressed,” said Brey. “I don’t know how to use it in recruiting or recruit against it. I guess we’re all going to try to figure it out.”

“I wonder if we can do it without congressional involvement. That will be the crossroads.”

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