New LSU men’s basketball coach preaches financial literacy amid NIL revolution

New LSU men’s basketball coach Matt McMahon says collegiate athletics officials need to eliminate the use of name, image and likeness endorsement deals as “pay for play” inducements to attract recruits.

But he endorses the opportunities NIL deals give student-athletes to make money while in college and to help them build a professional network they can benefit from when they’re done playing.

“We need to make sure we’re educating our players, not only about the great opportunities NIL plays into, but the risks and the bad deals that are out there as well,” McMahon told the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge today.

McMahon’s players take monthly online classes from Money Vehicle, which provides financial education to collegiate athletics departments including LSU. Only a small percentage of college athletes will play professionally, he tells his players, and most that do have short careers.

“By age 26, the ball has stopped bouncing,” he says.

McMahon says he has not yet encountered any jealousy among players based on how much money someone is making off the court, but acknowledged that it could become an issue.

Asked about the core values he stresses with his players, he says “character is the price of admission.” Beyond that, he listed five principles:

  • Hard work. “I think it’s our job to outwork the competition.”
  • Unselfishness. He praised the ability of Ja Morant, his most famous former player, to help make his teammates better.
  • Mental toughness, defined as the ability to move on to the next important goal.
  • Accountability, or making sure one’s actions match their stated goals.
  • Joy, which he calls the most important.

LSU opens its season against the University of Missouri-Kansas City next Wednesday, Nov. 9.

This story originally appeared in a Nov. 2 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.