Another edition of the ASOR Mailbag! Thank you for submitting your questions and continue to send them in and we will be happy to answer them in our next feature. You can send them to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, e-mail, or as a comment on the site. We had a ton of great questions this week, so let’s get right to it.

There has been a lot of noise around this new bill passed in Virginia, seemingly making it legal for Virginia colleges and universities to directly pay its student-athletes via NIL. The problem is this new ruling currently violates NCAA rules. We don’t really know how this will affect NIL here at Liberty or anywhere else. It’s too early to know. Will this force the NCAA to make changes? Will other states follow suit? Those are both likely outcomes.

Personally, I can’t imagine any Virginia school will begin to directly pay athletes, which is currently against NCAA rules, on July 1 which is when this law goes into affect. The new ruling states the NCAA can’t punish Virginia schools from doing so, but who’s going to be the first one to challenge that, especially if no other states follow course and pass similar laws.

Liberty won’t be first in doing this, but if every other Virginia school starts doing it I’m sure the Flames will jump on board. Before that happens though, I expect the NCAA and/or other states to make adjustments very quickly. Nobody wants to be left behind.

Schools being able to pay athletes, either directly or indirectly, is coming eventually and Liberty will be on the forefront of that evolution of NIL.

There are also so many questions that remain to be answered here. Does Title IX apply? Does this make the student-athletes employees? Do all deals have to be disclosed? What about the tax impact? Will there be a limit on how much an individual player and/or team can receive? More questions than answers right now.

  1. No, there hasn’t been any rumblings we’ve heard recently on future football scheduling. Check out our future football schedules page, you will see that schedules for 2025-2031 all have at least three games that have been publicly announced for those seasons. The ones that don’t have the full four non-conference games scheduled, are without FCS games. So, in theory, there could be FCS games for each of those seasons that would finalize the schedules. If that were the case, it would mean that 2025, 2026, and 2031 would all be seasons without a Power Five opponent. Certainly, the Flames would like to add a P5 to those schedules and will hopefully be able to soon.
  2. There also hasn’t been much moving on CUSA expansion that we’ve heard either. With the addition of Kennesaw State this coming season and Delaware next year, the league is at 11 members. The conference would clearly like to get to 12 members, it’s just a matter of time. I believe UMass was a target of the league before the Minutemen decided to join the MAC. Most likely, the only other viable candidates are all currently in the FCS. Perhaps the league is targeting 2026 to add its 12th member.

On Instagram, thomas_the_train4205 asked, “what sport will be LU’s calling card this year? (Football school, basketball school, etc)

Football always gets the most attention, and with the team coming off a CUSA championship, Fiesta Bowl berth, and final top 25 ranking, it’s hard not to point to football. If the team is able to have that similar level of success again this fall, we would have to say football. Having said that, with the additions of five new transfers to the men’s basketball team, the second highest profile team on campus could certainly have a high level of success in the CUSA this coming season.

Softball and field hockey have also had a high level of success and on the national stage. Either one of them could break through again and have a standout season. It’s always hard to predict that several months in advance though.