Sports Juwan Howard wants Michigan to be more 'proactive' with NIL policy: 'We can do better'

04:40  12 august  2022
04:40  12 august  2022 Source:   sportingnews.com

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As NIL continues to divide the college sports world, one high-profile school is trying to stay above the fray.

  Juwan Howard wants Michigan to be more 'proactive' with NIL policy: 'We can do better' © Provided by Sporting News

The University of Michigan has tried to avoid getting into the NIL conversation, with football coach Jim Harbaugh describing it best. Per Sports Illustrated:

Our philosophy is that coming to the University of Michigan is going to be a transformational experience rather than a transactional experience. I've always been for student-athletes being able to profit off of their name, image and likeness. It just makes sense...I think we can all agree that's something that's fair and right.

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Within those two competing statements, Michigan is erring toward the former and trying to avoid transactions, an approach that basketball Juwan Howard appears to be taking issue with.

“NIL is one of these things where it has helped some programs, what they’ve done in the transfer portal,” Howard said in a press conference Thursday. “For us, NIL hasn’t hurt the team when it comes to recruiting or the transfer portal. Have the conversations of NIL been brought up in recruiting [though]? Yes, they have. Would I like to see more done for the program in the sense of some of the things that happened with other basketball programs? Yes.”

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Howard went on to add: “I know it’s going to be a storyline, and that’s okay. Do we have a collective here? No. Do other programs have collectives? Yes. Could we be more proactive with NIL and be more forward thinking? Yes.”

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Despite Howard's insistence NIL hasn't hurt recruiting, there is evidence to the contrary -- at least in football. Four-star linebacker Raylen Wilson de-committed in June, and basketball star Hunter Dickinson has bemoaned the school's lack of effort to adapt.

"They're going to lose out on so many players if they don't start stepping up to the plate," Dickinson said in a radio appearance in June. "I feel bad for Coach Juwan and Coach Harbaugh because they're trying. It's just not their fault. The coaches are trying for sure."

What is an NIL collective?

As universities try to navigate an increasingly competitive NIL landscape, some schools have set up "collectives" in order to help recruitment along.

After players gained the ability to make money off their name image and likeness (NIL) on July 1, 2021, schools stumbled over themselves to begin recruiting players with lucrative deals and endorsement promises.

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Collectives are often established by high-profile alumni, and they operate outside of the university they're representing's purview. They generally pool money from boosters and act in an almost advisory fashion for student athletes.

Howard would like Michigan to have a collective, as they have become a reality of recruiting in the modern landscape.

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Will Michigan get a collective?

Michigan has been somewhat evasive when figuring out the possibility of if there will be a collective.

According to athletic director Warde Manuel in June, there are a few "in development." Around the time of those comments, a collective called "The Champions Circle" emerged, which will be football-focused.

That doesn't directly address Howard's qualms with basketball help, but it does imply help may be coming for Michigan in the future.

Michigan State and Ohio State both already have collectives in place, whereas the entire SEC has at least one per school. In other words, the leaders and the best are going to have to do a bit of following to catch up.

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