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Duke AD Kevin White worried unfair advantages with NIL laws

Duke athletic director Kevin White said he is concerned about potential abuse of name, image and likeness legislation and unfair recruiting advantages that might result.

White's comments via Twitter on Tuesday came in support of North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham who said last week that NIL legislation would compel collegiate athletics to "abandon a model" that's flourished.

"Along with my colleague and friend Bubba Cunningham, of the University of North Carolina, I am concerned about potential complications attendant upon the actual implications of NIL legislation," White said. "How will it impact recruiting? Will it create an open marketplace in which institutions solicit businesses or boosters to offer ever-escalating endorsement deals to a star high school quarterback or point guard? Will resources from equipment, apparel, and shoe companies be redirected to a relatively few individuals rather than being shared equally among the lesser known, but no less valuable, Olympic sports?"

While White's statement suggests a sense of fear and concern about the upcoming changes after the NCAA's board of governors announced its support of new name, image and likeness rules in April, both North Carolina and Duke have been working with a consultant to potentially capitalize on NIL rules in recruiting.

INFLCR, a firm hired by Duke, released a case study last month, in conjunction with the school, that says individual Duke men's basketball players could have collectively made $1.3 million through branded posts on their social media accounts during the 2019-20 season if name, image and likeness rules would have allowed them to.

The social media accounts of former star Cassius Stanley, per the firm, would have been worth more than $400,000 alone in ad dollars.

The firm used a formula that accounted for the popularity of the program, the individual athlete's popularity and other factors.

"It's fun to play on a big stage, but there are financial implications to choosing a Duke versus another place," said David Bradley, the creative director for Duke men's basketball, who helps players manage their individual brands. "Now in recruiting, you're going to see it become more of a focus."

INFLCR is also conducting similar studies for other major programs, including North Carolina and Kentucky basketball, two of its 600 clients across amateur and pro sports.

A case study the firm conducted for Auburn football revealed the market for Auburn quarterback Bo Nix last season would have been about $3,500 for every branded social media post.