On Monday, Grambling State took things to the next level and became the first program to utilize NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) opportunities as a tool to uplift the entire athletic program, rather than a few fortunate star players. Opponents of the new free enterprise in college sports say these financial opportunities only benefit the best players on the team. Those athletes who are All-Conference, All-Americans and future pros.
Grambling announced it is set to become the first program to offer NIL deals to all scholarship varsity sports athletes. The deal is unprecedented and the first of its kind in college athletics. Those athletes will receive annual income from this deal.
In the words of rapper Fat Joe: “Yesterday’s price is not today’s price.”
Jackson State is not the only school planning, politicking, pooling resources and relying on alumni and supporters to keep up with other burgeoning programs.
ESPN’s Peter Thamel reported on Grambling’s big splash.
“The income amount is unclear right now. The school has a commitment from two companies, Urban Edge Network and Athylt, to provide income for all Grambling scholarship athletes.”
Keeping Up With The Sanderses
The deal should do wonders for the Grambling State football program, now under the direction of former NFL head coach Hue Jackson. The move will enable Grambling to stay competitive on the field and become a leading player in the innovative and unchartered NIL world of college sports.
Deion Sanders‘ emphatic arrival in Black college football, his recruiting prowess and connections with major brands along various cultural, racial and political affiliations, has forced other schools to get creative and make impactful, exact power moves to level the playing field.
As a college coach, Hue Jackson is an exceptional hire for the Grambling Program…Let's Get It!👏🏾 https://t.co/2JBdTlkfv4
— Dr. Gourjoine M. Wade⚜️ (@DrGWadeSpeaks) December 10, 2021
The deal was announced 34 years to the day that former Grambling star Doug Williams became the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl and SB MVP. It also comes 24 hours after James “Shack”Harris another great Grambling signal caller, and first Black QB to start a season for a franchise in 1969, presented the George Halas Trophy (NFC Championship) to the Rams, whom he played for from 1973-76.
— 𝘽𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙣 𝙃𝙤𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙙 (@brianhoward33) January 31, 2022
New World Of NIL
Since July, the world of college sports has changed with the new NIL (name, image and likeness) deals now available to student-athletes.
With student-athletes able to profit off of sponsorships and other financial opportunities, the landscape of college sports and the business of NCAA athletics has been changed forever. From promotional deals with local businesses in sports-crazy towns to national deals with major brands like Gatorade and Beats By Dre, the NIL craze has taken over.
This new land of opportunity isn’t limited to Power 5 schools. HBCU athletes have also explored the limits of the new NIL offerings.
The new income amount for Grambling State athletes is currently "unclear".
The HBCU has a commitment from two companies:
➖ Urban Edge Network
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) January 31, 2022
HBCUs Staying Competitive And Continuing To Take Steps Forward: Shedeur And Deion Are Vital Cogs To The Success
Grambling State securing a deal of this magnitude is a huge win for all HBCUs. It comes on the heels of Jackson State QB Shedeur Sanders securing deals with Gatorade, Beats By Dre and Brady Brand, an apparel company owned by Tom Brady. It lets you know HBCUs aren’t being left out of this landmark movement.
Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders, who’s played a vital role in the renewed visibility and exposure of HBCUs, had this to say about NIL deals over the summer.
“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.”
The move itself has created a massive shift in the way college athletes are able to profit off of their talents and accomplishments.
More news from our partners: