Antwan Owen, Jackson State
@TheAntwanOwens/Jackson State Athletics

Hours after college athletes across the country were officially able to profit off their name and likeness, Jackson State defensive end Antwan Owens made NCAA history.

Owens on Thursday — just after midnight — became the first athlete to sign an endorsement deal.

As first reported by Sports Illustrated, the Georgia Tech graduate transfer inked a deal with 3 Kings Grooming, a Black-owned hair product business.

“Somebody pinch me!” Owens said. “This is something that’s going to be life-changing, generationally life-changing.”

The website also reported that the company signed at least four other Jackson State athletes.

Governance bodies in all three divisions today adopted a uniform interim policy suspending NCAA name, image and likeness rules for all incoming and current student-athletes in all sports.

“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “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. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”

Also read: HBCU athletics can get paid due to interim NIL ruling by NCAA

The policy provides the following guidance to college athletes, recruits, their families and member schools:

  • Individuals can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities may be a resource for state law questions.
  • College athletes who attend a school in a state without an NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
  • Individuals can use a professional services provider for NIL activities.
  • Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school.

Owens and others at Jackson State will undoubtedly not be the last HBCU athletes to cash in on the new NCAA ruling.

In April, No Limit Records founder Master P. said he was in the process of negotiating a $2.5 million contract for his son, Hercy Miller, who committed to play basketball at Tennessee State.


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