Future Duke AD Nina King: “Name, image and likeness is a good thing”

Duke University made a long-awaited announcement last week — naming Nina King as the school’s next athletic director. King will officially start her new post on Sept. 1; she’ll replace veteran AD Kevin White.

A veteran of Duke’s athletic department, King arrived at the school in 2008. She’s long served as the university’s senior deputy and chief of staff for athletics.

Now, King, 42, will become the first woman and person of color to be the AD at Duke. However, the transformative reach of her promotion goes beyond. King will become only the third Black woman athletic director at a Power Five university — joining Virginia AD Carla Williams. It’s a role she’s ready to embrace.

King is also at the forefront on one of the biggest things hitting major college sports: name, image and likeness. This is very important. When introduced at her first press conference, King stated that Duke should be a leader when it comes to NIL.

Quoting more from King:

As the NCAA, as an organization, we need to remain nimble and flexible. We need to be ready to provide our student-athletes greater opportunities, and allow them to profit off their name, image and likeness with the appropriate guardrails. And I think that’s what we are all still trying to figure out.

While the waters remain murky, it’s fairly obvious what’s on the horizon for college sports with NIL. The old, antiquated model simply can’t be allowed to sustain. It’s broken and grossly inequitable; change is necessary.

Competent leadership, at multiple levels, will be critical for the successful implementation of these new policies. That’s exactly what King has quickly demonstrated.