FHSAA Approves NIL for High School Athletes

The Florida High School Athletic Association has voted to permit NIL deals for high school athletes. The board of directors voted unanimously to allow students to profit off of their name, image and likeness. The bill would go into effect before the 2024-2025 season, which means some high school students could begin receiving NIL benefits in the coming months.

What Student-Athletes Can Expect

The stance on high school NIL has shifted numerous times across the country in recent years, as more states have voted to allow it. Florida now adds itself to that list, meaning student athletes can participate in NIL brand deals without losing their ability to play. In order to do so, students and their parent or guardian are responsible for negotiating any NIL deals. Additionally, student-athletes cannot profit from any deal that uses the school’s image (including uniform, logo, equipment and other school or district related properties).

Recruiting Concerns

The new set of rules intends to combat the use of NIL deals for recruitment. Schools and their faculty cannot recruit or entice student-athletes to join their program with NIL deals. The rules also do not allow students who have transferred mid-season to secure an NIL deal that same year unless they have a Good Cause Exemption from the district.

Collectives have also been a topic of concern regarding NIL decisions. They are defined under policy as “groups, organizations, or cooperative enterprises that exist to collect funds from donors and help facilitate NIL deals for student-athletes, and/or create ways for athletes to monetize from their NIL.” Collectives are permitted for college-level NIL deals, but the FHSAA is not allowing high schools to set them up.

Until now, high school student-athletes who accepted NIL deals would face ineligibility for a year. With its decision to allow NIL deals in high schools programs, Florida becomes the 36th state to do so. However, there are still doubts about the decision, including future acceleration of transfers, difficulty of regulating NIL deals and effects on coaches pay.

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