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If he does not receive an increase in compensation from his name, image, likeness deal, University of Miami hooper Isaiah Wong plans to enter the NCAA transfer portal.
Wong’s agent, Adam Papas, confirmed the player’s plans to ESPN on Thursday. “If Isaiah and his family don’t feel that the NIL number meets their expectations, they will be entering the transfer portal (Friday), while maintaining his eligibility in the NBA draft and going through the draft process,” Papas said.
John Ruiz, a billionaire, who funds Wong’s current NIL deal via his numerous companies, including LifeWallet, seems poised to watch the Hurricane blow away.
“Isaiah is under contract. He has been treated by LifeWallet exceptionally well,” Ruiz told ESPN. “If that is what he decides, I wish him well, however, I DO NOT renegotiate! I cannot disclose the amount, but what I can say is that he was treated very fairly.”
Miami guard Isaiah Wong says he will enter the transfer portal Friday if his NIL compensation isn't increased, per @ESPN.
Per his agent:
"If Isaiah and his family don't feel that the NIL number meets their expectations they will be entering the transfer portal tomorrow." pic.twitter.com/ywIKbfNwTV
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) April 29, 2022
Earlier this week, Kansas coach Bill Self admitted that NCAA basketball is now “out of control,” thanks to the combination of NIL deals and the transfer portal. Wong’s threat to leave without a pay increase seems to support Self’s point.
CaneSport.com reports that Wong’s existing NIL deal, financed through Ruiz and LifeWallet, pays him $100,000. As a sophomore, Wong averaged just over 15 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 2021-22. He was the second-leading scorer for a Hurricanes team that reached the Elite Eight.
“Isaiah would like to stay at Miami,” Papas told ESPN. “He had a great season leading his team to the Elite Eight. He has seen what incoming Miami Hurricane basketball players are getting in NIL and would like his NIL to reflect that he was a team leader of an Elite Eight team.”
As Papas loosely suggests, the underlying cause of Wong’s unhappiness appears to be the NIL deal of teammate Nijel Pack. Pack, a Kansas State transfer, reportedly received a two-year, $800,000 deal from Ruiz that also includes a car.
“It’s a unique situation just completing Nijel Pack’s deal with Miami. Understanding what John Ruiz is trying to do with the NIL space and the city of Miami, we feel the value of Isaiah Wong should meet or exceed the value of an incoming transfer,” added Papas.
College athletes who wish to transfer and still maintain their eligibility for the 2022-23 season must enter the transfer portal by Sunday.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF