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HBCU commissioners working together on NIL, sports growth
When Jacqie McWilliams sat at a table with other college sports leaders three years ago to discuss name, image and likeness, she thought about what the life-changing legislation would look like for historically Black colleges and universities.
With less government funding and fewer resources than Power Five schools, historically Black schools have a harder time recruiting top athletes. NIL, with little uniformity in how it is enforced across states, schools and regions, has widened that gap.
So, the commissioners of the four major HBCU conferences — the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) — recently agreed to work more closely together in partnering with professional sports leagues, including the NBA and NFL, to increase the value of HBCUs and send more athletes to the pros.