NIL proves once again that nothing sells like sex | Whitley's Believe It or Not

Welcome to the latest NIL controversy. The female athletes making the most money also happen to be the best looking.

Is that a problem?

It apparently is to the New York Times and old-guard feminists. They expressed concern last week over how some women jocks are monetizing “traditional notions of female beauty.”

Leading the parade are LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne and Miami basketball twins Haley and Hanna Cavinder. They are raking in seven-figure fortunes essentially for being hot blondes.

Tara VanDerveer, Stanford’s Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach, called the cheesecake parade “a step back” for female athletes.

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The best response comes from a 1986 shampoo commercial. In the immortal words of supermodel Kelly LeBrock, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

Sure, it would be nice if female athletes were valued as much for their achievements as how they look in a bikini. But in the eternal battle of human nature vs. idealism, human nature will always dominate.

We are hard-wired to be attracted to attractive people, and it goes both ways. If you’re Hanes, would you rather hire Tom Brady or John Daly to model your new line of bikini briefs?

As talented as the women may be on the balance beam, their real influence comes from preening like Playboy models to millions of social media followers. Companies pay a lot of money for that.

The Dunnes of the world wouldn’t be where they are now if not for the long battle waged by old-guard feminists. Don’t hate VanDerveer for being dismayed at where this has led. But don’t penalize Dunne for being beautiful enough to take advantage of it. ...

How about those Commodores?

Stud of the Week: Vanderbilt, for beating Kentucky to snap a 26-game SEC losing streak. Members of the 1940 Sewanee team that hold the record of 37 straight losses immediately broke out a bottle of champagne.

Stud II: Colts head coach Jeff Saturday, for silencing critics who said Indianapolis was crazy to hire an ESPN analyst with no coaching experience. The Colts proceeded to beat the Raiders 25-20, thanks largely to a game plan devised by offensive coordinator Stephen A. Smith.

Dud of the Week: Cryptocurrency. Warning to consumers: I don’t care how hot Olivia Dunne is. If she’s hawking FTX, pretend she looks like Rosie O’Donnell. ...

Dud II: Nevada and Arizona, who just finished counting their 1997 Heisman ballots. It now appears Peyton Manning might have enough votes to overcome Charles Woodson’s lead. ...

Sight of the Week: Florida’s 400-plus pound defensive lineman Desmond Watson stripping the ball from a South Carolina back and rumbling for nine yards before getting knocked down. It’s safe to say Watson set the SEC record for heaviest (and probably slowest) ball carrier in league history. ...

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel was asked last week about his relationship with the officials.

“It’s not monogamous,” he said. …

Speaking of non-monogamy, the world’s population is expected to surpass 8 billion sometime Tuesday. At the current rate of production, 20 people have been born in the time it took you to read this sentence. ...

Whatever happened to Urban Meyer?

NFL Network analyst Joe Thomas said Indianapolis hiring Jeff Saturday to coach was “the most egregious thing I could ever remember happening in the NFL.” Apparently, he’s forgotten the Jaguars’ hire in 2021. ...

The Miami Heat are scrambling after their $135 million arena naming rights deal with FTX collapsed last week. ESPN reports the leading candidates to replace FTX Arena are the Enron Center, the Blockbuster Video Forum and the Jimbo Fisher Fieldhouse. ...

If Tuesday Weld married Jeff Saturday, would she go by Tuesday Saturday?. ...

The Cavinder Twins will reportedly make about $2 million in NIL deals this year. That’s about $250,000 more than Miami President Julio Frank. In response, Frank’s financial advisor has told him to start posting TikTok videos of him conducting board meetings while wearing only a thong. ...

This Just In: The Raiders have fired Josh McDaniel and named Hannah Storm interim coach for the remainder of the season. ...

Beauty being in the eye of the beholder, I apologize to all Rosie O’Donnell fans who’d rather see her in a leotard than Olivia Dunne. ...

SEC Redux: Sewanee was an SEC member from 1932-1940, went 0-37, was shut out 26 times and got outscored by a combined 1,163-84. On the plus side, no Sewanee fans were ever injured trying to tear down a goal post. ...

By the time it takes you to read this sentence, Texas A&M will have lost three more games. ...

If Jeff Saturday really did marry 79-year-old Tuesday Weld, it would be more egregious than the Jaguars marrying themselves to Urban Meyer. But not by much ...

That’s about all the space we have for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. Till next time, please don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at dwhitley@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @DavidEWhitley

This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: LSU's Olivia Dunne, Miami's Cavinder twins put influence to use in NIL