Family of Notre Dame football signee Deion Colzie launches website with eyes on likely NCAA rule change - ABH
For Yolanda and Frank Jackson and their son, Athens Academy senior and Notre Dame football signee Deion Colzie, proactive and protective thinking has often prevailed.
The family announced Wednesday the launch of Colzie’s website. For seven months Yolanda has worked with a brand building company to create a logo, which is still pending trademark approval, and the website.
The Jacksons have followed the changing climate of college athletics and kept their mindset geared for the future.
A potential tweak to NCAA rules to allow student-athletes to be paid for their image and likeness, long discussed and introduced in 2020, is expected to pass sooner than later.
That announcement, coupled with the growing following of Colzie due to his recruitment, began the website's process.
“There are so many people out there that like to take advantage of kids by using their names and their likeness and the kids aren’t aware of it,” Yolanda said. “We thought that we should do what we needed to do to protect his name and his brand. Even if it were possible to be able to profit for their name and likeness, we have always thought about making sure that his name and brand were protected.”
The Jacksons discovered that Colzie’s domain name had already been purchased. Researching further, Yolanda found there were other young athlete’s domain purchased, too.
“These people will do that and when you try and go set up a website, they will come back and try to sell you the domain name for ridiculous prices, which of course is against the law, according to our attorney,” Yolanda said.
“If you don’t do your due diligence and find out things, just think about if we didn’t know that up front and we would have tried to figure out how to get the domain name from there,” Yolanda said. “Who knows what would have happened? You could end up being out of thousands of dollars just because you don’t know. Fortunately, for us, we found out that the dot-com was gone, but there are others we can use.”
Colzie entrusted the site to his family. Yolanda found it important that the family keep creative control so that Colzie can decide later where to take his brand.
They also decided to showcase Colzie’s lineage and the family's notable athletic background. Colzie is a relative of Neal Colzie, a former NFL and Ohio State star.
“Whatever direction he wants to move in with that, the platform is already there,” Yolanda said. “As opposed to waiting until he knows if he’s going to the NFL or not, why not do it now? As he moves and progresses throughout his career, all he has to do is just add those elements as opposed to having to start from scratch.”
While they initially had their son in mind, Yolanda and Frank aim to be a source of information for anyone with prospective future college and NFL athletes.
“We want to get the information out to parents, because in today’s world this is the type, unfortunately, the kind of thing you have to do to protect your children,” Yolanda said. “There are so many people out here that have bad intentions and all they want to do is profit off your kids… This was a lot about protecting Deion (Colzie) but it was also about maybe us using this to start that conversation.”