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“NIL” by Maya Ellsion and Marissa Wells debuts at this spring’s J-School Journals premiere

By Caleb Shelton

Tallahassee, FL. Have you ever heard of NIL deals? Well, if you have not, in the simplest of terms, Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is a term that describes the means through which student-athletes are allowed to receive financial compensation. 

NIL deals are becoming increasingly common in college athletics as the NCAA will enable athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness. Athletes can sign endorsement deals and sponsorship agreements, and even receive payments for appearances or autographs.

Maya Ellison and Marissa Wells, senior Broadcast Journalism students, are the producers behind the J-School Journals documentary titled “NIL,” which will cover the history of NIL deals and how they differ from HBCUs to PWIs.

Ellison and Wells’ motivation for creating this project stems from a life of athleticism and the many unjust differences they have seen in college. “NIL deals are great and have done many good things for people, but my problem is that there’s a wide spectrum of what you can and can’t do,” Ellison said.

NIL deals are often used to help offset the costs of their education or provide them with
additional income. The NCAA is also exploring ways to allow student-athletes to receive
benefits from businesses related to their school or sport, such as apparel companies.

NIL deals can be an excellent way for athletes to gain extra income and exposure. However, it is important to remember that strict rules and regulations are in place to protect the athletes and ensure they are not taken advantage of. It is also important to remember that NIL deals are still in their infancy, so athletes should be careful when participating.

“I was never into college sports but I always found it crazy that in the past people were
reprimanded from receiving compensation. Now they can receive up to enough money to even live off of, especially at a more known school,” Wells said.

In the documentary, the two students of Florida A&M University take a plunge into the many differences in these deals at HBCUs compared to PWIs.

After speaking to Markiel Ross, a student-athlete at Florida A&M, it can be inferred that no matter how different their compensation may be, they still are grateful for the opportunity presented.

“It’s a great opportunity to make some pocket change,” Ross said.

On Sunday, April 16th at 6 p.m., come and learn more about the history of NIL deals and how they differ at different schools as FAMU opens its doors to all to view the screening of “NIL” at Lee Hall Auditorium, 1601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.