Recruit engagement sparks debate on NIL versus rich tradition and elite recruiting

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Cristian Conyer’s commitment Sunday in Tennessee over Kentucky reignited an ongoing debate in recruiting circles in the age of name, image and likeness.

The question is whether each program is on an equal footing in terms of resources and priorities with player recruitment and compensation.

Matt Jones, a well-known media personality among the Kentucky fan base, shared his deep thoughts with several tweets on Sunday about the Wildcats falling behind in the NIL era. Jones questioned athletic director Mitch Barnhart’s leadership in the NIL realm, when it comes to resources for rookies and then, by extension, assistant coaches and staff.

Russell Smith, a Knoxville radio host on Fox Sports Knoxville, shared a tongue-in-cheek reaction to being on either side of a rookie signing.

“When a recruit chooses your school, their decision is always based on the rich tradition of your program, the efforts of your coaches, and the excellent education your school offers. But when recruits choose a rival school…they just buy!

Here is a sampling of some of the reactions:

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