What NCAA’s change on name, image, likeness means to Antwan Owens

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 13: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Cheerleaders celebrate after a touchdown against the Duke Blue Devils on October 13, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Georgia Tech defensive end Antwan Owens’ most significant on-field contribution was his block of a field-goal try at the end of regulation against Miami.

Owens, a junior from Tallahassee, Fla., had another appreciable offering Wednesday,  namely a reasoned perspective on the NCAA’s decision to open a path toward college athletes being able to be compensated for the usage of their name, image and likeness.

Owens said that the potential for extra income for college athletes is particularly significant for those coming from less affluent families.

“In my opinion, I feel like it was great,” he said. “You have guys that come from certain backgrounds, backgrounds like me, where it’s kind of hard being here at college.”

Owens, a first-generation college student, has heard stories from former teammates who were on campus before the NCAA permitted schools to offer cost-of-attendance stipends in 2015.

“A lot of the older guys talk about times where they’d go home after the game, they couldn’t eat, they couldn’t do this,” Owens said. “They didn’t have the funds to be able to do certain stuff. To see that the NCAA is taking that change and trying to emphasize something that has been going on since the beginning of time (i.e, not having spending money), it’s a great thing, in my opinion, for the NCAA to do.”

Georgia Tech defensive lineman Antwan Owens speaking with reporters on October 30, 2019. (AJC photo by Ken Sugiura)

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