What are the NIL rules for high school sports? - Fan Arch

What are the NIL rules for high school sports?

What are the NIL rules for high school sports?

In recent years, the issue of name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights has become a hot topic in the sports world. While most people associate NIL rights with college athletes, high school student-athletes are also affected by these regulations. In this article, we will break down the existing NIL rules for high school sports in the United States.

Currently, high school student-athletes in most states are prohibited from monetizing their NIL due to state regulations and governing bodies. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is the governing body for high school sports in the United States. The NFHS oversees 51 state high school associations, including Washington D.C. According to an article by USA Today High School Sports, the regulations regarding NIL activities for high school student-athletes vary from state to state.

Some states, such as Alaska and California, have recently allowed high school student-athletes to engage in NIL activities unaffiliated with their school teams. However, most states still prohibit high school student-athletes from profiting off of their NIL. The reasons for this vary, but some state athletic associations have cited concerns about preserving the amateur status of high school sports.

One high-profile case that highlights the issues surrounding NIL rights for high school student-athletes is that of Quinn Ewers. Ewers is a high school football player who left his Texas high school early to enroll at Ohio State University. According to an article by CBS Sports, Ewers received a $1.4 million NIL deal after leaving his high school due to state regulations prohibiting any prospective student-athlete from being compensated for their NIL prior to enrolling at a college or university.

While Ewers' case is unique, it does raise questions about the fairness of the current NIL rules for high school student-athletes. The NFHS advises interested individuals to contact their high school athletic director and/or high school association for more information on the regulations in their state.

In contrast to the rules for high school student-athletes, the rules for college athletes are changing rapidly. As of July 1, 2021, NCAA rule changes have given college athletes opportunities to make money by selling their name, image, and likeness rights]. According to an article by ESPN, the NCAA's new regulations prohibit a school or its employees from paying an athlete directly for their NIL rights, but they are far less restrictive than previous rules.

As a result, college athletes are now able to sign endorsement deals, participate in paid social media posts, and even start their own businesses. Some schools have even signed up with organizations like Brandr, which coordinates group licensing opportunities for athletes. For example, Georgia Tech's football players signed contracts to promote TiVo on social media in exchange for prepaid debit cards, branded pajamas, and more.

While the new NCAA rules have received a lot of attention, they do not apply to high school student-athletes. As a result, high school athletic associations and state lawmakers are grappling with how to update their NIL regulations.

In Florida, for example, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law in June 2021 that allows college athletes in the state to earn money off of their NIL. The law also includes provisions for high school student-athletes, although the details are still being worked out.

In California, a law passed in 2019 allows college athletes in the state to earn money off of their NIL starting in 2023. The law also includes provisions for high school student-athletes, although it is unclear how those provisions will be implemented.

At the federal level, Congress is discussing college sports reform that could include provisions for NIL rights for both college and high school student-athletes. However, it is unclear when or if such legislation will be passed.

In conclusion, the rules surrounding NIL rights for high school student-athletes are complex and vary from state to state. While some states have recently allowed high school student-athletes to engage in NIL activities unaffiliated with their school teams, most states still prohibit such activities. As the NCAA and state lawmakers continue to grapple with NIL regulations, it remains to be seen how high school student-athletes will be affected.


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