Former Oklahoma State defensive lineman and First Team Big-12 member Brock Martin, emphasized the significance of NIL at OSU during an interview with us earlier this week.

Martin, a former All-Big-12 member, received much attention last week after posting his opinions of NIL on X. However, Martin recently sat down with us to delve deeper into the topic and discuss its implications for Oklahoma State following two straight losses and the program’s future.

The Cowboys have been the center of conversation regarding NIL over the last few weeks, with coach Mike Gundy having differing opinions from his staff on where donors should focus funding. However, Martin wanted the fans to know how important it truly is for the future of OSU.

When asked why he made the post, Brock emphasized the new arms race of College Athletics.

“I see a lot of people complaining,” Martin said. “We were ahead of the arms race (20 years ago) because of Boone Pickens money, and you know we ended up as probably Top 10 in Facilities in the country. Now we’re in another one where if we don’t pick it up and do something about it, we’re gonna fall behind, and we may be left in the dust.”

Martin would also discuss the recent recruiting losses against Texas Tech, TCU and Baylor.

“We don’t want to get into a recruiting battle with, you know, Tech, Baylor, TCU and lose a kid we really want because of our lack of funding to NIL,” Martin said. “If a kid is really on the fence and likes OSU and likes us more than Tech but we aren’t offering him any money at all, and Tech comes out and says we’ll offer you $100,000, he would be crazy not to take that offer.”

Oklahoma State is 3-7 in their last ten games and has struggled immensely to score.

Martin wanted fans not to enter “panic mode” and discussed the trends of OSU football.

“I don’t want fans to get in a panic because of the loss(es),” Martin said. “People forget how in 2018, coach Knowles’s first year, we were giving up 40 points per game, and we were 6-6, losing to some teams we shouldn’t have. And then we had a better year the next, and a better year after that, and an even better one after that (2021). I mean, we ended up being Fiesta Bowl champions.”

When asked how important NIL was, Martin had strong statements to the fans.

“I think NIL should be priority number one for fans, alumni, boosters, donors, etc.,” Martin said. “It’s the landscape of college athletics. It’s the way it is, and it’s not going anywhere.”

Martin also said that he believes OSU already has some of the best facilities in the college, and donations should focus on NIL to keep talent and bring in new players.

“People have to be realistic,” Martin said. “We do not have the assets, the tradition, and the recruiting pipelines that Ohio State does. Those blue-blood schools reload every year. Oklahoma State has to rebuild every four years or so, and it gets kids they like, keep them in the program, and build it up. And then we are going to have a down year. If we want to be able to keep having two to three good years and one bad year instead of a bad year after a bad year, we are going to have to do something to keep the kids here. And with NIL, the portal being around, it’s not going to be as easy to keep those kids around.”

The Cowboys lost 16 players to the portal, including 13 starters or significant role players, and has been the leading story heading into the 2-2 start.

Coach Gundy recently downplayed the need for NIL compared to facilities, but Martin still believes, if used correctly, the Cowboys can be top in the country in NIL.

“I think we can be a Top 10 NIL and donations,” Martin said. “I think a lot of Oklahoma State alumni have been extremely successful. I get why it’s hard to give money away, and with the economy right now with inflation, I understand. But at the same time, if you want successful athletic teams at Oklahoma State, you have to donate money, and that’s just the landscape of the game now. And it’s not just Football.”

Martin believes the Cowboys deserve to be the best and expressed his mindset.

“I want to be the best at everything,” he said. “Whether that’s facilities, or NIL, or football in the AP Poll, I’d like us to be #1 in everything, but you have to have money to make money.”

OSU has won a single Big 12 title under coach Gundy but has been a consistent player in the college football landscape. The Cowboys are in the top ten in wins, ranked wins, and bowl games over the last decade.

However, Oklahoma State has a serious chance of falling behind without NIL contributions. The Cowboys are ranked 60th in the country and 11th in the Big 12 in the 247-team rankings for 2024 recruiting.

Martin wanted fans and donors to know NIL isn’t just “gifted” to these players.

“They aren’t just getting handed checks,” Martin said. “They have to work it around the season and bye weeks. It’s not just money going to kids like they’re spoiled brats. Not only are they doing charitable things and going to talk to people and doing advertising and doing all these things, but they’re also still getting up at 5 O’Clock in the morning and going to practice, watching films and doing their homework at ten and getting up to do it all over again.”

Pokes With a Purpose and several prominent OSU X accounts have been pushing a “#600WithAPurpose” movement. The push centers around finding 600 donors to donate $88 a month or $1,000 a year. An amount used for the average to attract 4-5 Five Star Athletes.