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IU Basketball: How Priller Time Came at the Wrong Time

By now you have likely at least heard about California Senate Bill 206.  Commonly known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill earlier this week.

The law has generated substantial discussion in recent days, and for good reason.

Allowing student-athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness, the new California law has the potential to dramatically change the landscape of collegiate athletics.

The law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023, with several twists and turns in the road likely along the way as it relates to the response by the NCAA and potential similar laws by other states.

At least one former IU basketball likely wishes that a similar law went into effect in Indiana about 10 years earlier.

During his four year career in Bloomington that spanned from 2014 to 2018, Tim Priller appeared in just 35 games and played a grand total of 71 minutes.

The North Richland Hills, Texas product scored 26 points and grabbed 21 rebounds throughout his time at IU.

Despite his pedestrian numbers at Indiana, Tim Priller is one of the better known IU basketball names over the last 10 years.  Typically only playing in contests where the outcome was no longer in question, Priller’s entrance into a basketball game often generated some of the loudest moments inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Despite IU holding a 22 point lead with less than a minute to play, just listen to the energy in the building when the 6-foot-9 Priller scored a basket in 2016:

Former IU teammate and current NBA player Yogi Ferrell once spoke about Priller’s unique ability to captivate the crowd:

Priller once again generated excitement in a room on Wednesday when his name was brought up in the context of the new California law.

IU head coach Archie Miller, who only coached Priller for one season, was asked about how his former player might have benefited off of his name, image and likeness while in college.

“There’s no 13th man that ever has had such marketability in the entire timeframe of collegiate athletics than Tim Priller,” Miller said with a smile on his face.

Sitting to Miller’s left was IU radio voice Don Fischer, who called all 35 of Priller’s appearances at Indiana.

“I mean, seriously, Don Fischer is here,” Miller continued.  “There’s never been a player that I have ever run into that could capitalize on that word Priller more than he could. That’s a credit to him. He’s an unbelievable guy.”

Fischer chimed in on the exchange.

“Ten years from now, Tim Priller will be telling his kids, ‘I was way ahead of my time,’” Fischer said. “‘I could’ve made a lot of money.’”

Although others did try to capitalize on Priller’s fame, including the occasional “Priller Time” t-shirts that seemed to appear in Bloomington from time to time, it was wrong place, wrong time for Priller when it came to profiting off of his unique path to fame.

“You know what, without question,” Miller added, “if you ever looked at the name, image and likeness of a person to be able to market themself, that guy right there, he just wasn’t at the right time.”

“He’s going to look back in 2027 and say, I could’ve been a millionaire. He’ll probably be a millionaire anyway.”

Priller caught wind of the conversation and aimed to prove Miller right on that last point.

Sensing a better late than never opportunity to generate some cash flow on his perhaps now fleeting fame, Priller once again looked to foster some enthusiasm with the crowd, this time on Twitter.


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