High school athletes in Georgia are the latest group that can earn money from name, image and likeness — more commonly known as NIL — without fear of losing their eligibility.
The Colorado High School Activities Association’s (CHSAA) legislative committee approved a similar proposal in April. It is basically a carbon copy of what other associations allow.
Athletes cannot link deals to performances. They can’t use their school’s name, logos or uniforms either, according to opendorse.com.
But they are permitted to monetize their own name, image and likeness as long as it’s not in direct correlation to the high school they attend.
In other words, as an individual independent of their school or team, a student athlete can make money from their name.
An example would be an athlete starring in a local car commercial, as long as they aren’t wearing their school’s uniform or logo, or announcing they represent a certain school.
NCAA athletes have had the same rights since 2021. California was the first state to pass such a law in 2019, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I’m sure it will just continue to make it harder for smaller or disadvantaged schools to keep athletes around,” said Jason Humphrey, athletic director at Prairie View High School in Brighton.
Mike Krueger, the commissioner of CHSAA, said there are safeguards in place for the smaller schools.
“Our NIL policy has been in effect for a few years,” he said. “It is certainly something we are beginning to feel more and more at the high school level. Our transfer policies stay in effect even when a kid has an NIL agreement in place. That helps protect the integrity of all schools regardless of size. At least we hope it will continue to.”
According to On3.com, 34 local athletic associations and the District of Columbia allow student athletes to participate in NIL activities without forfeiting their participation in prep sports.
Dan Greene, an NIL expert and associate attorney at Newman & Lickstein in Syracuse, New York, called Georgia’s new stance “a momentous occasion,” according to On3.com.
“Most Southern high school athletic associations have refused to amend their amateurism policies the last few years, while many others have made such amendments,” Greene told On3.com.
As the wave of NIL continues to dominate college and trickle into the high school athletics space, it will be interesting to watch the impact it has on schools in Colorado and beyond.
Are you a fan of NIL for high school athletes, or think it possibly sets up complications for schools with less resources? Reach out to Sportsland and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org