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HBCU's Interest Top Athletes For Mutual NIL Economic Empowerment!

HBCUs become more appealing for high-profile athletes! Passing the AAPCA, Fair Pay to Play Act, and similar legislation will allow college athletes to rightfully profit from their NIL(Name, Image & Likeness) and open the door for star athletes to choose HBCUs over traditional Power Five sports programs. This could build communities most adversely affected by climate change.

Angel FReese is expected to earn about 5 million in 2024 in NIL deals, which became effective in 2021, are "an agreement or arrangement between a student-athlete and a third party, such as a brand, company or individual, where the student-athlete receives compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness," per NCSA.)

According to ABC News "When five-star high school basketball recruit Makur Maker was weighing offers from top college programs last summer, he looked at traditional powerhouses like Kentucky and UCLA. But the school he ended up choosing to attend was Howard University in Washington, D.C. Maker felt he could be successful at Howard, even though the Bison won just four games the year prior and had not appeared in the NCAA Tournament since the early 1990s. He said he wanted to attend a historically black college, and encouraged more top recruits to follow his lead and "make the HBCU movement real."

HBCU's are looking at expanding the variety of sports programs so more students can access quality education! In 2021, Black men made up half the 10 Division I national champions in wrestling but fewer than 10% of Division I wrestlers. There are many sports that black students excel in but are just not given the opportunities to develop.a growing phenomenon at HBCUs as they ride a wave of popularity not seen in decades: Many are adding sports beyond the more typical offerings of football, basketball and track and field.

In 2020 the Associated Press contacted 46 Division I and D-II HBCUs and five conference offices about the trend over the past decade; at that time 20 schools responded, saying they have added at least 42 NCAA championship or emerging sports since 2016, including at least 32 sports since 2020 alone. Several of these new teams start competition in 2021. Only three of the newly added sports were track and field, two were football and none were basketball. In 2024 the number has doubled despite attacks on the funding of HBCU's!

"Top-tier black college athletes should take their talents to historically black institutions. That's the argument that Jemele Hill is making in a new piece for The Atlantic. She says that doing so could benefit both the colleges and the communities around them. The piece, It's Time for Black Athletes to Leave White Colleges, argues that when highly-ranked black athletes even look at HBCUs, it "threatens to crack the foundation on which the moneymaking edifice of college sports rests" — that foundation being black athletes drawing acclaim, attention, and money to primarily white institutions." (M. Kelly J. Kung)

If you look at the college landscape now has become a billion dollar industry, due to black athletes garnering television contracts, the money, the interest, the marketing, shoe deals, all of that. But black athletes in general are being exploited, because they're not being paid, and they're clearly the backbone of a lot of these universities, of which black athletic labor has helped them become these huge powerhouses. You're looking at schools who have a 200 million dollar athletic budget — not a school budget, just the athletic budget alone. All that is built on the backs of black athletes.

HBCUs generally speaking do not have large endowments, nothing that could equal any of some of the universities like Harvard. Why not take your talent to these HBCUs that once were the only place that you could go, where you could get a quality education without exploitation and win whether or not you become a sports professional while simultaneously helping to build those universities into educational powerhouses and empower the communities around them and to some degree kind of rebuild these historic institutions.

Something that has changed making Athletes more focused on HBCU's is the ability for amateur athletes to earn income from advertising. One of the goals of the NCAA was to preserve the spirit of amateurism in collegiate sports. In the spirit of amateurism, direct compensation to athletes was banned. Now with new laws in place the NCAA and predominantly White colleges have been forced to stop exploiting their Black athletes. Collegiate athletics is a dominant form of entertainment in the United States, with upwards of ten million average viewers for select tournaments.

Introduced in the 117th Congress's second session, the Amateur Athletes Protection and Compensation Rights Act of 2021 (“AAPCA”), and similar legislation, aim to solve the issue of the lack of compensation for college athletes competing on behalf of their university. While the NCAA and its partner universities offer athletic scholarships to cover the cost of attending a four-year school, athletes are otherwise limited in their ability to capitalize and receive compensation for their athletic success. Nevertheless, popular college athletes' names, images, and likenesses (“NIL”) are used to sell video games, merchandise, and other items, while the athletes receive none of the profit. The NCAA continues to perform legal gymnastics through loopholes and narrow rulings regarding college compensation, harming its athletes, particularly Black athletes.

It is no secret that Black athletes dominate the high revenue-producing sports of Men's Basketball and Football. To maintain amateur status and thus NCAA eligibility, these athletes cannot ever be directly paid for their efforts. Coaches, universities, and athletic departments consistently receive lucrative, multi-year contracts. These contracts can last for up to ten years, and these coaches are some of the highest-paid employees in their respective states.

Notably, in an industry dominated by Black male athletes, the head coaches and administrators are overwhelmingly white! Signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Fair Pay to Play Act will allow college athletes in that state to accept payment for the use of their name, image, and likeness. To date, 35 states have passed NIL laws. These states have largely modeled their laws on California's “Fair Pay to Play Act.” It is expected that by 2025 45 of the fifty states will have passed NIL laws NIL refers to the rights of college athletes to control and profit from their name, image and likeness.


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