Cavinder twins end college basketball careers, successful NIL run

The twins rose to national prominence while playing for Fresno State in 2021-22 when they garnered millions of followers on social media and started inking deals on the first day of the NIL era.

In 2022, the twins announced their intentions to transfer — and chose Miami in April. At the time, they told Front Office Sports that their decision had nothing to do with NIL but instead was to put them in a position to play in the NCAA tournament.

They reached that goal this year as part of a Miami team that made a surprise run to the Elite 8. Along the way, they shocked the nation by beating the No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers. Miami was eliminated from the tournament after losing to the eventual national champions, the LSU Tigers, 54-42.

But their time in Miami wasn’t all positive. 

The twins were at the center of an NCAA investigation which eventually led to the governing body’s first-ever NIL-related infraction. The subject: a NIL deal with prominent Miami booster John Ruiz. While there was no evidence that the deal was used as a recruiting inducement, the NCAA did find the Cavinders had received a free dinner from Ruiz that went against NCAA rules — and that Miami coach Katie Meier’s involvement in coordinating a meeting between the two parties was impermissible.

The NCAA handed down a mild infraction to coach Katie Meier and the team but didn’t punish the twins, who used the infraction as fodder for social media. 

The Cavinders did not specify what they’ll be working on next. But their next chapter could certainly build on the social media fame and business deals they’ve scored during their time as college athletes.

—Amanda Christovich is a reporter for Front Office Sports