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In visit to B-N, basketball icon Doug Collins says he doesn’t want 'pay-for-play' with new NIL rules

Doug Collins
Matt Cherry
ISU basketball legend Doug Collins, right, was in Bloomington-Normal this weekend to help raise money for Marcfirst. He spoke to the media Sunday at the Gregg Chadwick Marcfirst Pediatric Therapy Center in Normal.

Illinois State University basketball legend Doug Collins was back in Normal this weekend to help raise money for Marcfirst, which serves people with disabilities.

The former NBA All-Star and coach also got some face time with current ISU basketball players. At a press conference Sunday, Collins weighed in on new men’s basketball coach Ryan Pedon.

“He’s paid his dues. He’s been an assistant coach with some terrific head coaches. He’s ready for this moment and it’s going to take a little time, maybe a couple recruiting classes. So he’s got to little by little start building the program with the players he thinks can help be successful,” Collins said.

Collins also acknowledged the impact that former head coach Dan Muller had on the program, saying the team would not be where it is today without Muller.

Collins is the most famous college student-athlete to pass through Bloomington-Normal. The All-American played for ISU in the early 1970s.

The rules surrounding college athletics have changed significantly in the past year, now that student-athletes can cash in on endorsement deals because of changes to the NCAA's Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) policies. That’s the result of a Supreme Court ruling last summer.

Some have expressed concerns about athletes abusing the transfer portal or dissension within teams, related to NIL. ISU Athletics itself is staffing up its NIL team and recently hosted a community event on the topic at Hancock Stadium.

“I don’t want that pay-for-play out there,” Collins said. “What I hope it’s going to be is these players have a way to earn some money, but to do so they have to fulfill some requirements. Not just ‘here’s your money.’ And I hope we prematurely didn’t get all this stuff going without knowing how to handle it.”

Collins spoke Sunday at the Gregg Chadwick Marcfirst Pediatric Therapy Center in Normal. He was scheduled to appear at a fundraising dinner Sunday night and again at the Marcfirst Golf Classic on Monday at the Bloomington Country Club. The event raised money to help Marcfirst with adding staff, buying equipment, and supporting its behavioral health clinic.

Collins said felt passionate about the cause and felt the need to return to the city that helped change his life to give back to the community.

Collins, a father himself, discussed how important it was to instill hope into children with disabilities and help them grow.

“These young people are on a journey, and they have to have coaches. And these coaches are helping their life be a bit better each day,” Collins said.

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Matt Cherry is a student reporter.
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