Fran McCaffery says Kris Murray turned down a two-way contract from NBA to return to Iowa

Tuesday marked a historic day for Iowa Athletics as “The Swarm” NIL Collective was unveiled. Name, Image and Likeness has been active for more than a year, but the Hawkeyes are focused on doing things ‘the right way’ and are pleased to finally get the collective off the ground.

“As a former student-athlete at the University of Iowa, I am excited to form The Swarm Collective – a non-profit corporation that contracts with Iowa’s student athletes to serve the community,” Brad Heinrichs, President and CEO of The Iowa Swarm Collective said. “NIL is a wonderful tool for student-athletes to be able to profit from their name, image, and likeness. Our objective is to use their popularity for the benefit of the Iowa community by raising money or providing services to local charities and other non-profit organizations.”

Following Heinrichs’ press conference, Iowa head basketball coach Fran McCaffery met with a few members of the media to discuss the collective and what it means. One of the first things that was brought up was the transfer portal and if not having a collective ‘hurt’ their chances with some of their top targets.

“I’m not going to go pay a ton of money for a guy and then pay Kris Murray, Patrick McCaffery and Tony Perkins less. I’m not doing it.(A transfer) hasn’t proven anything here,” McCaffery said . “I’m willing to get into a competitive market, but I’m not going to have issues with my own locker room in doing so. We’re not going to do that.”

Kris was Iowa’s leading scorer (9.7 ppg) and rebounder (4.3 rpg) off the bench, which ranked fourth and third overall, respectively. His 31 blocks and 43 3-point field goals rank seventh and eighth most, respectively, by a Hawkeye sophomore. He ranked second on the squad in 3-point accuracy (.387, 43-of-11), blocked shots per game (0.9) and field goals made (124), third in offensive (1.6) and defensive (2.7) rebounds, and fourth in steals (0.8).

“Kris Murray turned down a two-way contract. That’s a lot of money and I love the fact that he bet on himself. He’s going to come back here and have a great year and he needs to be compensated for doing that. Is it going to be equal? ​​I don’t know. He needs to be compensated and he’s going to be a great spokesperson.”

McCaffery says that NIL conversations happens every time a potential recruit comes to Iowa City. It’s impossible for him to give them an exact number that they’ll be paid, but says he ‘tells them the truth’ about what Iowa is doing and is adamant that the players will be paid. The most important thing for McCaffery is that they are doing something to benefit the players and thinks it’s ridiculous that it took so long for players to get a piece of the pie. Especially since the NCAA generates billions.

The Swarm Collective will represent Iowa football, basketball and women’s basketball. Several coaches are hoping that they’ll expand to other sports in the future. Now, the Hawkeyes turn their attention to the 2022-2023 season and are ready for any expectations that are in front of them.

“I think we’ll have pretty high expectations for ourselves, first and foremost, because we’re a group that has been together for a while,” Murray said this summer. “We have a core group of guys and we’re excited to bring in the freshmen as well. They’re going to fit in with us seemingly. I think our chemistry is going to be really good this year. Building off of last year, we have a lot of confidence in our group and I think that’s what we’re going to have this year. We’re going to have really high expectations.”

Iowa fans interested in learning more or getting involved today can visit their website at: www.iowaswarm.com.

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