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Hubert Davis describes how NIL changed his approach to coaching, recruiting

Sam Gillenwater06/17/22
Article written by:On3 imageSam Gillenwater

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Photo by Patrick Smith | Getty Images

North Carolina’s Hubert Davis was the latest NCAA coach to sound off on the continually growing NIL space. Last season wasn’t just Davis’ first season with the Tarheels where he led them to a 29-10 record and a title game appearance. It was also the inaugural season for NIL legislation taking effect in college athletics.

In a recent press conference, Davis echoed similar sentiments to other coaches across the country. NIL forces them to understand it, but Davis says he doesn’t focus on it whatsoever.

“Kids are thinking about it and parents are thinking about it. Agents are thinking about it. It’s something that I have to think about but it’s something I do not focus on at all,” said Davis. “Personally, as a coach, I’m not allowed to be involved in it. These are their NIL deals based on their name, image and likeness.”

NIL is an athlete-focused problem with its goal being to compensate them for the image they create for themselves. Coaches are not meant to be involved. Some do not want to be involved either way. In this new era of the NCAA, though, they at the very least have to be well-versed in it.

Still, Davis reiterated that NIL-related details aren’t his job. He was hired to be the head man for Chapel Hill’s North Carolina Tar Heels and that is exactly the job that he wants to do.

“I’ve been hired to be the head coach for North Carolina. That’s where my focus is on,” said Davis. “I always say I like to focus on the things that are real and what’s real is trying to prepare this team to be the best that it can be next year.”

After leading UNC to the Final Four in his first season, it’s fair to say he’s doing a pretty good job of that so far. As college sports and legislation dives further in to NIL, though, it may end up being something coaches like Davis can’t afford to avoid.