Why did Hunter Dickinson leave Michigan? Looking at Kansas center's decision around NIL earnings

TCU v Kansas
Hunter Dickinson now plays for Kansas Jayhawks

With only one year of eligibility, Hunter Dickinson left the Michigan Wolverines basketball program to finish his collegiate career at the Kansas Jayhawks in May 2023. Dickinson, an Alexandria, Virginia native, led Michigan in points and rebounds each year with the team.

He averaged 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds in three seasons with Michigan. He led the Wolverines to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament in 2021. In 2022, Michigan was able to make it to the Sweet 16.

Why did Hunter Dickinson leave Michigan?

Hunter Dickinson left Michigan because of a reported increase in his NIL money at Kansas. The 7-foot-1 center made a considerably less amount than his peers during his time at Michigan, and made the decision to enter the transfer portal to capitalise on his game, instead of declarin for the NBA Draft.

After announcing his transfer to Kansas, Dickinson spoke to ESPN. He also had offers from Kentucky, Maryland and Villanova.

"If I wanted to just go to the highest bidder," he told ESPN, "then it wouldn't be Kansas."

While speaking on Barstool’s Roundball podcast, the 7-foot-1 center provided more details.

"I was close to going to every one of the four schools. After every visit I was like, 'Yeah, this is where I want to go' ... I was like, 'Damn, I really could go to Kentucky,' from a standpoint it would be a really big risk, but [coach John Calipari] has a really good record of getting guys to the NBA.

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A major factor in Dickinson’s decision was the potential of NIL money. According to On3, Dickinson’s NIL evaluation comes in at $843,000. That makes it the fifth-highest in basketball and 35th overall in the top 100 NIL evaluations.

"The people hating on me would leave their job right now for a $10,000 increase," Dickinson said on the Roundball Podcast. "I got, at Michigan, less than six figures."
"I still do love Michigan," he added. "I still love the school and everything. I love the program. That's why it was so hard to leave because I really didn't want to leave, I didn't. But I just felt like, man, it was the best decision for me. It took a lot of courage. I don't think people realize how much courage it took for a guy who was there for three years, an All-American for the team. I did have a legacy there and I basically gave that up to try to be selfish and do what's best for me and my career, not what's best for anybody else's career."

How much did Hunter Dickinson make at Michigan?

Dickson reportedly made less than $100,000 in his junior year. His transfer was met with controversy. This is because NIL played such a large role in his decision.

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