Yesterday, the NCAA rolled out a new rule that allows collegiate athletes from all three divisions to profit off of their name, image and likeness (NIL). In the 24 hours since this change took effect, star athletes from all over the country have already signed countless endorsement deals.
While this is an exciting time for collegiate athletes, locking into contracts without significant financial experience certainly has some risks.
Jackson State head coach and former collegiate/NFL superstar Deion Sanders took to Twitter on Friday, urging student-athletes to get educated before they make any big financial decisions.
“College athletes in ALL THY GETTING PLEASE GET SOME UNDERSTANDING! Don’t allow this NIL stuff to mess up your future,” Coach Prime wrote. “Get a lawyer,take Marketing & Advertising classes for knowledge. You will also meet Uncle Sam for the 1st time. Take care of him! Your game comes before “NIL”.
College athletes in ALL THY GETTING PLEASE GET SOME UNDERSTANDING! Don’t allow this NIL stuff to mess up your future. Get a lawyer,take Marketing & Advertising classes for knowledge. You will also meet Uncle Sam for the 1st time. Take care of him! Your game comes before “NIL”.
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) July 2, 2021
While this message may make it seem like Sanders is apprehensive of the NCAA’s new policy, that is far from the case. The all-time great DB is thrilled college athletes now have the opportunity to make money.
In fact, it was one of his Jackson State players who took advantage of them before anyone else. According to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, Tigers defensive end Antwan Owens was the nation’s first athlete to sign an NIL deal under the NCAA’s new policy — inking an endorsement agreement with a black-owned hair product shop called Three Kings Grooming. Wasting no time, Owens locked in the deal at the stroke of midnight on Thursday.
Along with Michael Strahan, co-founder of SMAC Entertainment, Sanders is teaming up to bring Jackson State student-athletes more endorsement opportunities to “level the playing field.” The “multi-dimensional talent management, music, branding, sponsorship, business incubator and production company” has announced student-athlete marketing commitments from WorkForce Software, Simply Crowns, and Madison Healthplex Performance.
“It is PRIMETIME and about time that our student-athletes have an opportunity to make MONEY off of their name, image, and likeness,” Sanders said in a statement. “I am thrilled that these athletes can now financially and personally benefit from all that they do for their institutions and communities. This is a tremendous step in the right direction.”