NIL agency founder casts doubt on Coach Prime's Colorado football 'ATM' comments: 'Wonder if it's lip service'

Colorado v UCLA
Colorado v UCLA / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Postgame CEO and Co-Founder Bill Jula, leader of an NIL-focused sports agency who represents Shedeur and Shilo Sanders and Travis Hunter, believes Coach Prime's infamous "Colorado football isn't an ATM" comments were merely "lip service."

"I wonder if that's sort of just, you know, a little bit of lip service to hide the fact that he's probably spending just like everybody else," Jula told me. "You know, or maybe it's to help sort of mitigate the fact that maybe Colorado doesn't have quite the pockets -- I would imagine they don't -- of, like, Ohio State or Texas yet. So it's maybe to try to sort of get some of those recruits into looking at other things related to the Colorado program. But with that being said, I think he's got a top-five transfer portal recruiting class right now."

"Two years in a row," I chimed in, referencing the No. 1 2023 transfer portal ranking that preceded Coach Prime's current top-five portal class.

"And when you look at it, I would imagine 95% of those big-time guys who are moving in the portal are landing in places because of money," Jula continued. "So I don't think he's just getting all of them on that great smile he's got. I think that there's definitely gotta be some pockets behind that.
If he was ranked 25th or 30th on that transfer portal ranking, I'd say, 'Okay, maybe he is truly not an ATM,' but the fact that he's top five twice in a row now tells me he's doing something different."

Coach Prime infamously told reporters ahead of the Buffs' 2023 finale that Colorado football wouldn't be an ATM as it pertains to NIL in 2024 and beyond; this despite the record-breaking NIL payouts for Shedeur and Hunter.

"We’re not an ATM. That’s not gonna happen here,” Sanders told on November 21 (h/t Clarion Ledger). “If you come to Colorado to play football for me and the Colorado Buffaloes, it’s because you really want to play football and receive a wonderful education.

“All the business stuff will be handled on the backend. But we are not an ATM. You’re not coming here to get rich unless you’re really coming here with a plan to go to the NFL and get your degree. Not to come here and be Moneybagg Yo. That’s a rapper, right?”

Colorado football behind the 8-ball with pay-to-play outpacing sponsorship deals

As Jula explained, direct pay-to-play checks from schools are outpacing sponsorship deals in earnings potential; putting the Colorado football program behind the 8-ball on top recruits who can make more at blue-blood institutions.

"I think on the pay-to-play side, I think the ceiling is much, much higher,' Jula said. "In terms of on the pay-to-play side, quarterbacks in high school, big-time 5-star quarterbacks, you're probably looking at a few (millions). Easy. There are no real brands out there willing to give an 18-year-old that kind of money to attend a school."

The "Prime Effect" can only go so far. At some point, CU's boosters need to start spending what it takes to give the Buffs a chance at any meaningful success on the gridiron.