Fans of the Michigan Wolverines breathed a sign of relief when they found out that star center Hunter Dickinson would be returning for his junior season, and a big reason why he wanted to return was because of the NIL money he could possibly earn in Ann Arbor.
In a recent interview with with Tim McCormick and Sam Webb, Dickinson was pretty candid about NIL, as he feels like it needs to improve at the university.
“If I’m the number one player in the country for basketball or football, why would I come to Michigan, where they’re saying they have the potential for you to get something?” Dickinson said. “When I’m at Alabama for football or if I’m at Kentucky for basketball, they’re like, ‘You can commit here and this deal, you can sign it right after you sign the letter for a million dollars.’ I would never come to Michigan if that’s the case.”
Dickinson is one of the first NCAA athletes ever to really make money off NIL deals, including through Player’s Trunk and Outback Steakhouse.
The star big man candidly mentioned multiple times that the NIL process is quite confusing, and he hopes players don’t get duped knowing that there is money waiting for those who go pro.
“Because guys can get sucked into a deal and you don’t even realize that you’re in a system, in an area, in a place that you don’t even like and you find yourself there for four years. It won’t be a fun experience for you. I hope guys take in the full experience, not just focus on the NIL because if you do it right, and your team wins enough, I feel like you’ll be able to make your money at some point regardless.”
Dickinson mentioned that the coaches aren’t allowed to help through the NIL process, and he certainly doesn’t blame the coaching staff, as their hands are somewhat tied throughout the process.
“They’re gonna lose out on so many players if they don’t start stepping up to the plate. I feel bad for Coach Juwan and Coach Harbaugh because they’re trying,” Dickinson said. “It’s not their fault. The coaches are trying for sure.”
At the end of the day, Dickinson just wants Michigan to be a top school in the country, and he made abundantly clear that he thinks the university isn’t doing a good enough job using NIL to make the program as good as it can possibly be.
“At some point, you got to realize either you got to be all-in, or you’re not going to get anybody, that’s my take on it” Dickinson said. “I want Michigan to be great, I want them to be able to get everybody that they can. I want us to be the No. 1 school for every sport and be able to get everybody.”
“I feel like we have the potential, and NIL is the perfect thing for us,” Dickinson continued. “We have the best alumni in the world, and so it’s like, why not be able to use that? We have all these great facilities, we have so many donors, instead of a donor donating $20 million to you don’t know what, why doesn’t he donate $18 million and then donate $2 million to the basketball team, and you’re able to get a top-5 team in the country. And you still have that great facility, but you also have a top-5 team in the country that can also win and put people in seats and show off success. I wish Michigan would do better, and eventually they’re going to have to move into that space.”