NIL is live and HBCU athletes could be getting a bag

Yesterday’s NCAA about-face lets all athletes cash in on their name, image, and likeness

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Antwan Owens, a defensive end who transferred from Georgia Tech to Jackson State, signed a NIL deal.
Antwan Owens, a defensive end who transferred from Georgia Tech to Jackson State, signed a NIL deal.
(Getty Images)

This is a new day in college sports.

The NCAA has allowed athletes to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness and it will change college sports forever.

Athletes will finally be able to get at least a part of their rightly earned cheddar. It’s a great step in the right direction not only just for Power 5 athletes but for any athlete who can market themselves to the right people.

The NIL announcement could be huge, not just for a Trevor Lawrence-level star, but it could put significant dollars in the pockets of men and women at smaller schools who dominate the interest of a specific town.


This largely applies to Historically Black Colleges and Universities who have a large following in their respective areas.

Enter Jackson State defensive end, Antwan Owens.

Owens, who is a grad transfer from Georgia Tech, signed a deal with 3 Kings Grooming, a black-owned hair product business, at midnight. He is believed to be the first college athlete to ever sign an endorsement deal.

HBCU athletes have a supreme impact on the local economies that they live in. HBCU Homecomings by themselves can bring in millions to small and medium-sized towns. So these athletes having the ability to get in on some of that money is huge.


This development could be groundbreaking not only because of the wave of opportunity for smaller school athletes, but for athletes of color and women who have traditionally been disenfranchised economically. Just think about how an athlete could leverage their social media presence for a major company, or even a few smaller companies in their city and help their family.

Most athletes who will be benefiting from NIL will be minorities, so having that extra income has the potential to have a major impact on generational wealth in these athletes’ lives.


Even if it’s just $5,000,goes that money could go a long way inlong in changing someone’s life and allowing them to live move differently than they would have if they had to worry about where their money was coming from.

This could be game-changing for minority athletes. I’m excited to see who is getting their bag next.