Is Michigan’s Opinion On NIL Costing Them Athletes?
For years upon years, college athletes have been considered amateurs and could not be able to make money for themselves while playing college sports. They would often be awarded a stipend from their institution to help pay for living expenses but we're under strict rules and guidelines on what funds they could accept and how they could use them. This has since changed and has changed the recruiting game as well.
In the past couple of years, the idea of Name, Image, and Likeness pay being available for student-athletes has gone from a possibility to a reality across all divisions. Now, college athletes are able to use their own name, image, likeness, and other means to create income for themselves. Such as having endorsement deals, streaming platforms, and more to make money. The amount of money you can make varies depending on a ton of different factors and the University of Michigan is seeing this unfold in the worst way.
The Michigan Wolverines have become a powerhouse in many sports including the big four in basketball, football, baseball, and hockey. They have been able to use their beautiful campus and success on the fields/courts/etc. to bring in some of the best recruits across the country. Well, when NIL was widely accepted by the NCAA, things quickly changed as state legislators began making bills, and school boards and athletic departments were putting together their own guidelines.
U of M has been dubbed as one of the stricter institutions when it comes to NIL deals and it may be costing them some big-time recruits and talent. Most of this has been with the basketball team but this may become an issue across the board if it's not fixed quickly. Due to their traditional outlook on NIL, they have seen many athletes depart or de-commit from the basketball program in recent months.
Two of the biggest departures they have seen were from 3-year starter Hunter Dickinson and supposed transfer Caleb Love. Dickinson entered the transfer portal at the end of the 2022-23 season and committed to Kansas University to play for Bill Self and the Jayhawks, following his footsteps, UNC transfer Caleb Love de-committed from Michigan and chose to play for the Arizona Wildcats of the Pac 12.
As I look through Michigan's NIL policy there are a few questionable things that arise that could be a part of the issue at hand. They mention that any money made by the athlete will affect their financial aid package moving forward and that the school is not assisting in creating any NIL opportunities for their athletes. The latter of the two is the real issue.
It's common sense that NIL deal money would lower the amount of financial aid you can receive from the government or school, just like it would factor in anyone's income. Now, the school not helping with NIL deals is a separate issue. When you see schools like Texas, Florida State, Alabama, and others create opportunities or find ways for their athletes to make money, this will be expected across the board.
Michigan has some decisions to make and relatively quickly or they may run into an issue where their NIL deal policy will not only affect the basketball program but the major four sports and beyond as well.