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Michigan basketball transfer Hunter Dickinson has decided to play for Kansas. The announcement comes after the 7-foot-1 big man took multiple visits, including to Kentucky.
His commitment to Kansas comes a day after one report mentioned that Kentucky would not be offering NIL cash upfront. Does this mean that other schools were offering him deals before stepping foot on campus? Well, that’s open to interpretation.
“Every school and collective has taken a different approach in the last 22 months to how they would like to deploy NIL cash in recruiting, whether that be in the portal or at the high school level,” On3’s NIL expert Pete Nakos said. “The NCAA has made it clear time and again that pay-for-play is prohibited. But until the governing body comes down and truly makes an example of a school, every collective and donor is going to run on their own prerogative.
“In the case of Hunter Dickinson, we’re seeing all sides of NIL. Kentucky is making it clear the dollars will flow after his commitment. Other schools are opting to possibly go the route of drafting contracts before he actually shows up on campus. Screw the ‘Wild West’ moniker, this is the norm in college sports in 2023.”
What Nakos is saying centers around how NIL is being translated right now by schools. Some are giving athletes the opportunity to make money after they establish themselves on-campus, while others are offering cash like we’re living in 1988.
Dickinson visited Maryland and Georgetown during his recruitment, while also seeing a number of blue bloods. In the end, Kansas won out. Maybe there’s a chance Oscar Tshiebwe comes back for Kentucky next season, which would certainly help John Calipari with this loss.
At Michigan, Hunter Dickinson averaged 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
NIL Has Taken Over The Normal Recruiting Process
As we’ve seen for the past two years, NIL has become one of the main talking points when it comes to recruiting. If prospects aren’t talking about NIL opportunities with coaches, they’re most likely doing it with someone else near campus.
We have seen where some players decide to wait until they actually prove something on the field before accepting money from NIL contracts. Just last week Texas football coach Steve Sarkisian mentioned that Arch Manning would not be taking money from companies until he was the starting quarterback.
But there is a very big difference between a college freshman and a guy who has proven he can dominate at the college level. Hunter Dickinson wanting to know where the money will come from before he commits is not a shocker, if true. This is the way college athletics currently operates for star players, especially ones who can come into a program and contribute immediately.
As for Kansas, the rich get richer. For a program that is still dealing with the FBI scandal that rocked college basketball, the Jayhawks are still flourishing.
Bill Self doesn’t care what the NCAA thinks, so reports of early NIL deals are not shocking one bit.