High school NIL rules eyed

by | May 13, 2024

The Florida High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors will discuss potential bylaw changes to allow high school athletes to profit from endorsement deals, similar to the NIL laws in collegiate sports.

The Florida High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors is slated to hold a discussion Tuesday about potential changes to the organization’s bylaws that would allow high-school athletes to make money on business agreements such as endorsement deals.

The proposal follows a seismic shift in collegiate sports over the past several years that allows college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness in what are commonly known as NIL laws.

An initial NIL law went into effect in Florida in July of 2021, and last year Gov. Ron DeSantis approved a subsequent measure that essentially expanded the state’s NIL law to allow universities to become more involved in the process. The high-school athletics proposal would revamp part of the FHSAA bylaws governing “amateurism” in sports.

Permissible business deals under the proposed rule change would include, but would not be limited to, “commercial endorsements, promotional activities, social media presence, product or service advertisements,” the proposal says. Schools would essentially be barred from being involved in any potential business negotiations.

“Student-athletes and their parents/guardians will be required to negotiate any NIL activities independent of their school, school district, or the FHSAA,” an overview of the proposed rule included in the meeting’s agenda said. High-school athletes looking to make money through NIL deals also would not be allowed to use their school’s logos, mascots or uniforms “unless granted authorization by prior written consent from the school, district or (Florida High School Athletic) Association, respectively,” according to the proposal.

An introductory part of the proposal also encourages student-athletes and their families to “seek legal counsel and tax advice when considering NIL activity.” The plan also would bar endorsement deals involving certain types of businesses.

Products involving alcohol, tobacco, vaping, cannabis, controlled substances, gambling and weapons are among the types of business agreements that would not be allowed. The proposal also would prohibit NIL deals from being used to recruit student athletes “for the purpose of participating in interscholastic activities.”


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