By: Tadi Abedje
Yesterday, the NCAA announced a new policy that will allow college athletes to be paid off their name, image and likeness. They are allowed to engage in NIL activities without punishment.
“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities. With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement on the NCAA website. “The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”
The new rule opened the floodgates as Antwan Owens became the first collegiate athlete to sign an endorsement deal. The fifth-year senior signed the deal at midnight with a Black-owned hair product company called 3 Kings Grooming. Owens started out with a miniature afro but changed hair styles as he continued to grow as a person while in school.
“This is something that’s going to be life changing, generationally life changing,” the Jackson State defensive end said to Sports Illustrated.
The agreement took place thanks to ICON Source, a digital marketplace linking athletes to brands. Additionally, they have agreed to deals with four of Owen’s JSU teammates. They have become a target thanks to their head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.
Owens is near the end of his collegiate career. However, he takes comfort that his 17-year-old brother, who is getting recruited by division I schools, will be able to benefit off of his name.