Nikita Pleasure, with EXIT Realty Lyon, has been in business for over 17 years and she has been a realtor for 13 years! She wants to make your home buying experience as easy as possible. You can join Nikita in a hands-on educational workshop to get you ready for homeownership. With over 100 years of combined experience, Nikita’s team specializes in mortgage lending, credit repair, tax preparation, home insurance, home inspection and providing you with realtor services.
“The Launching Pad” workshop is on Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There is free admission, parking and light refreshments. For more information, visit EXIT Realty Lyon at 759 Downtowner Loop W. Mobile, Al. 36609. Call Nikita Pleasure at (251) 654-9959 or visit her website.
USA Today Sports’ Jarrett Bell breaks down his conversation with Jackson State head football coach Deion Sanders.
Correction/clarification: A previous version of this story mischaracterized new revenue generated since Deion Sanders arrived at Jackson State. The school’s athletic department has generated the equivalency of $185 million in advertising and exposure, a university spokeswoman said.
JACKSON, Miss. — Like pretty much any and every coach, Deion Sanders has a whiteboard in his office at Jackson State. Yet the board mounted above the coffee maker and microwave, a few feet from his desk, is hardly typical. There are no X’s and O’s scribbled on the board to diagram plays.
Sanders’ board contains a list of 20 items — either generic products or the names of specific stores. These are marketing targets.
“Go get ‘em,” Sanders said, alluding to the directive for a marketing firm, SMAC Entertainment, enlisted to pursue potential deals. “That’s the way my mind thinks.”
Few, if any, can sell it quite like Sanders, who has never been shy about pushing the envelope and won’t stop now.
This is what Jackson State knew it was getting in hiring the electric Pro Football Hall of Famer to become “Coach Prime.” And his star power is already paying off in a big way.
A university spokesman told USA TODAY Sports on Friday that the Tigers athletic department has generated the equivalency of $185 million in advertising and exposure since Sanders was hired in September to revitalize the football program — and more — at the HBCU school. Surely, this is “The Deion Effect” that athletic director Ashley Robinson stated during a recent interview with USA TODAY Sports.
The way Sanders sees it, it is only the beginning.
The whiteboard illustrates how much he recognizes the buzz about him can generate revenue for an underserved program seeking a wide range of upgrades.
The first item on the board: Insoles. Makes sense. The Tigers, like all athletes, need their footwear support.
Sanders’ board also includes items for “credit repair” (Is this a play on “starving students?”), “coffee” (I’m thinking there’s a tie-in to all-nighters before mid-term exams), “pain” medication (football is a collision sport) and as the coach noted, “tractor supply” (which I’m assuming might have been inspired by shoddy practice fields).
Surely, this is an interesting time on the college landscape for this. On Friday, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed Mississippi Senate Bill 2313, which allows college athletes to receive compensation for use of their names, images and likeness (NIL). The law goes into effect on July 1, with Mississippi becoming at least the ninth state to pass this type of measure and the third — following Florida and New Mexico — with that soon of an effective date. These actions are occurring against the backdrop of a sweeping reform movement to rebut the NCAA’s traditional and draconian measures that have prevented athletes from being paid while coaches, administrators, schools and other institutions bring in billions of dollars.
During an interview with USA TODAY Sports earlier this month, Sanders didn’t point to the items on the whiteboard as specific for individual player marketing opportunities — it was obvious that most, if not all of the items could potentially have overall team themes, while many could go either way — but he was undeniably fired up about the prospect of his players cashing in.
“If this happens, we’re able to say, ‘Let’s go,’ ” Sanders said. “At 12:01 (on July 1), we want to announce deals. But that’s how (you) go out and prep ’em. The (marketing) team is already on that stuff.”
Sanders did not maintain that the school or athletic department would directly line up deals for the players. Surely, he knows NCAA rules.
The NCAA, however, is in the process of considering an extensive rules proposal that addresses NIL, quite necessary with so many measures in various states poised to become laws allowing NIL payments for college athletes in addition to the case being weighed by the U.S. Supreme Court that challenges whether the NCAA’s restrictions on compensation for athletes violates antitrust laws. The NCAA’s rules proposal was originally scheduled to be voted on in January, but the matter has been tabled.
One part of the proposal would allow an institution to provide information and education to student-athletes related to NIL activities, and clears schools to assist in evaluating professional service providers for such. This part, however, prevents an institution from identifying or selecting a professional service provider or arranging for payments.
Imagine how Sanders might have cashed in back in the 1980s, when he created his “Neon Deion” image at Florida State — backed up by his enormous talent. He was way ahead of his time. Which makes him uniquely qualified to relate to the athletes — at Jackson State and across the nation — as this NCAA reform evolves.
But still: Item 5 on Sanders’ whiteboard? Condoms.
“The slogan is good,” Sanders said. “It says, ‘I’ve got you covered.’ “
That’s going to takes some explaining.
“The reason that’s on there is because, what am I coaching right now? A bunch of young men,” Sanders said.
“When we came off the break (in March), I asked the team, ‘What happened on the break? Somebody tell me some good stories. Well, one of the kids said, ‘Coach, I met my son for the first time.’ His girlfriend gave birth and they had a boy.”
Sanders said the room was overwhelmed with emotion, given the revelation.
“I’m sitting there thinking,” he said, ” ‘This is a child. Raising a child. We’ve got to teach these kids how to practice safe sex.’ “
This is what Sanders must also mean when he says his job is about more than coaching. It’s about developing young adults. And about selling the message, too.
Northwest Ohio Community Action Commission (NOCAC) will provide a free credit repair class via Zoom from 6-7:30 p.m. April 27. The class will go over the importance of credit, how to improve your credit rating, how to obtain and read your free credit report and resources to help you build your credit score.
To register for this event, contact NOCAC financial coach Amy McMaster at 419-990-5136 ext.3122 or [email protected]
Nothwest Ohio Community Action Commission (NOCAC) is celebrating Financial Literacy month by providing virtual live housing workshops on home repair and home purchase Tuesday 6-7:30 p.m.
Home repair speakers will include: NOCAC Weatherization, Maumee Valley Planning, USDA home loan and home repair loan. In addition, there will be a speaker on home ownership and credit building products including NOCAC’s Matched Savings Program.
Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the free program details and have their questions answered by the experts. Register for this event by contacting NOCAC’s financial coach, Amy McMaster at 419-990-5136 ext. 3122 or [email protected].
“Most people aren’t aware there are free programs to help them purchase their home or repair it,” McMaster explained. “This workshop brings all of these agencies into one location so the public can learn more and have their questions answered by the experts. There are so many families on a fixed income, including our elderly, who are not in safe housing. NOCAC wants to make sure families are aware of programs that could make their home more energy efficient. NOCAC looks forward to bringing awareness to the community.”
NOCAC’s Weatherization Program wants to improve the energy savings for income eligible individuals. This is done by providing energy related home repairs and other modifications to make the homes safe, comfortable and energy efficient while reducing the heating and cooling cost paid by low-income consumers. Health and safety issues such as furnace and water heater replacement are also assessed; however funding for this is limited, and if the unit is a rental the landlord is recommended to contribute to the repair cost. To be eligible for this program, a person may not make over 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For more information contact Brandy at 419-784-5393 ext. 3110; to schedule an appointment with your local NOCAC Outreach office please call 1-419-219-4641 or visit the NOCAC website at www.nocac.org .
Maumee Valley Planning oversees the Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) program which also provides home repairs and often partners with the NOCAC Weatherization Program. The CHIP Program provides funding to address housing-related activities including the full rehabilitation of the property. The goal is to bring the entire home into conformance with local and state codes while addressing health and safety concerns. The improvements will include correction of structural issues, heating, electrical, plumbing, lead paint hazards, accessibility, and water/sewer issues. To learn more, contact Liz Keel at 419-784-3882 or visit https://www.mvpo.org/housing.
The USDA Rural Development’s Section 502 Direct Loan Program provides a path to homeownership for low- and very-low-income families. No down payment is typically required and there is no private mortgage insurance involved with low interest home loans. This provides an opportunity for families who do not have the funds for a down payment. For more information contact Melody Massey at [email protected] or 419-581-4507.
McMaster has been helping families purchase homes for 12 years and continues to offer all these services for free through NOCAC’s Financial Opportunity Center (FOC). The FOC can help families improve their credit, reduce their debt, sign up for federal student loan payment plans, and much more. McMaster goes on to say, “I don’t have a magic wand to magically make all their credit problems disappear, but I do have some resources that can make the journey to home ownership easier.”
NOCAC also administers a Matched Savings Program that provides one time down payment assistance toward home ownership. Income eligible participants receive up to $650 in matched savings toward a home loan down payment and closing costs. Participants save $50 a month for up to 12 months in a personal savings account and receive the NOCAC match once they have completed all program requirements and purchase their home. A free financial coach is provided to help participants become mortgage ready. Most mortgage loan products require a credit score of 640 and NOCAC’s financial coach can help participants reach this credit score in a timely manner while learning new ways to make their income stretch. Contact McMaster at 419-990-5136 ext.3122 or [email protected] to learn more.
McMaster went on to say “there are so many people who have the dream of owning their own home and do not know where to start. This housing workshop explains the process and links them to agencies that can assist them. Most families need a credit score of a 640 to purchase a home in Northwest Ohio. There are programs to help families reach this credit score and reduce the debt that could disqualify them from a mortgage loan. In addition, they can learn more about down payment assistance programs such as the $5,000 Welcome Home Grant that provides a onetime down payment assistance if you purchase a home in March”. Attendees will walk away with information and resources to make their home ownership dream come true. NOCAC will also be offering a free online Credit Repair class as well, Tuesday April 27th @ 6pm. Please reach out to the FOC if you would like to learn more by calling 419-990-5136 or visiting our website at www.nocac.org.