Coaching Search 2024

Dusty May embracing NIL as he takes the reins at Michigan 

It wasn’t long before NIL took center stage in Dusty May’s entrance as Michigan’s new men’s basketball coach. 

Even before his introductory press conference in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, which included questions about NIL, May and NIL were placed hand-in-hand. On Monday, just a day after the Wolverines formally announced that they hired May, the Champions Circle NIL collective—an official partner of Michigan Athletics—went right to work. Launching a “March with May” fundraising campaign, the impact that NIL will play into May’s tenure became hard to miss. 

Because college athletics and NIL now go hand in hand, and programs need ample funding there to compete for top recruits. Michigan has often lagged behind in that department, even losing star center Hunter Dickinson to the transfer portal, with NIL cited as a key reason. The Wolverines weren’t competitive enough in the NIL space, but with a new coach and a fresh start, they want a renewed energy into NIL to come with it. 

The catchy name for the most recent campaign is a start, but the man behind the name’s attitude toward NIL is far more important. In an era that’s shifting so quickly to NIL, some coaches — to their detriment — are hesitant to recognize its importance.

Not May. He knows NIL will be a key pillar to how successful his tenure will be, and he’s embracing it head-on. 

“I’ve learned to enjoy (NIL),” May said Tuesday. “It’s not going away, and I’d love for our players to be taken care of as much as possible and be rewarded for the work that they put in.” 

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