Freshmen hoopers Kennedy Chandler and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield dropped some gear recently as a part of their name, image and likeness (NIL) deals with Knoxville retailer Alumni Hall.
You can see on the timestamp that this isn’t breaking news. But Tennessee’s approach to the new NIL rules has been a topic of conversation lately, so I just wanted to take a minute and maybe get some eyeballs on Chandler and Huntley-Hatfield’s gear.
Chandler had a meet-and-greet signing at Alumni Hall’s Turkey Creek location on Thursday, and the store gave away 100 shirts to UT students this morning at the Papermill spot.
This isn’t at quite the level of TyTy Washington’s NIL deal with a Kentucky Porsche dealership, but it’s putting some money in athletes’ pockets and that ain’t a bad thing. This particular deal was signed back in October and was the second NIL deal for Chandler, who’s also got a reportedly “five-figure,” deal with a Memphis trading card company.
Tennessee's Kennedy Chandler, a projected lottery pick next year, will sign a five-figure NIL deal with trading card company Wild Card, his father Kylan told ESPN. Chandler will autograph trading cards and memorabilia as part of the agreement.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) July 30, 2021
Now for some pure conjecture on my part: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Barnes signed two-straight top-5 recruiting classes and then inked just one player — 4-star instate guard BJ Edwards — this cycle, with it being the first time money can officially and legally sway players’ collegiate attendance decisions. Barnes has previously refuted such a notion.
“We’re not losing recruits because of the NIL,” Barnes said. “We’re not. When we go out in recruiting, we’ve got certain things that we’re looking for. Early in the recruiting process, we kind of get a feel for what things are and what’s important. We can make our decisions from there.”
There’s so many moving parts here that it’s really difficult to accurately assign any real fault or blame, but regardless I think it’s a conversation worth having. Either way, I’m glad Chandler and BHH are able to make some cash.
How do y’all feel about this topic? Does Tennessee appear to by systematically behind the eight ball on NIL stuff to you?