To some degree, sure.
It's also a way to improve the process that was already happening, as you mentioned.
And it creates value for both sides of the equation, and hopefully some education and regulation as well.
Instead of a rogue booster handing a guy $500 in cash, now that player can partner with the booster's company to promote something, to do a business transaction.
Schools have to teach student athletes how to handle the business side, the taxes, those kinds of things.
More than anything, and this is what I like most about it, it gives fans an approved and obvious way to influence the product they want to see on the fied.
If you are a Mizzou basketball fan who is tired of seeing athletes from St. Louis go to Florida, Duke, Kentucky over the Tigers, you can now help change that without breaking NCAA rules.
Same for Illinois fans who want the football program to rise.
Those NIL deals are going to impact recruiting and give in-state schools a better chance to keep talent from the area, because that's where those players' brands should be strongest.