Credit: Florida High School Athletic Association

FHSAA Comments on High School NIL

In Florida high school sports, Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) is currently an approved practice. The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) unanimously approved a bill allowing high school athletes to profit from their name and image rights.

For instance, an athlete may collaborate with a local company to secure an endorsement deal and make money from it — a practice that was previously forbidden in amateur sports. The bill is being introduced at time when NIL is drastically altering college athletics. Players are increasingly profiting from businesses as well as university collectives, a group of supporters who give athletes money. This is clarified by the FHSAA executive director, Craig Damon.

New Territory

The FHSAA noted in the bill that athletes cannot profit from NIL while repping their school’s gear, uniform, or logo. It also prohibits high schools from forming collectives. The FHSAA board mandates that the athletes’ parents or guardians must be involved in the deal-making on their behalf. With the passage of the bill, Florida becomes the 36 state to implement NIL for school athletes. The bill will be in effect by the 2024-25 season.

External endorsements are limited. Players cannot endorse anything that involves alcohol, tobacco, vaping, nicotine or cannabis products, gambling, weapons, political or social activism.

There is worry that the bill would alter the perception of high school athletics as one of the purest forms of amateur athletic competition, as it did with college athletics. Many believe the modifications will take high school sports away from their original intent.

Going Forward

Damon also mentions that students will not have access to agents for performance reasons. There will be advisors under the FHSAA to help direct parents and students in order to make the best decisions. This is strictly for contract negotiations.

For the parties involved there are many pros and cons to this NIL deal. As high school athletes start to get a taste of these endorsements they learn how to manage their image and network towards their future. The FHSAA has opened doors for student and their families to reach new opportunities.

There may be manipulation of intention towards the athletes by parents or school staff. Even though students will be monitored there is no assurance that these corruptions will not occur behind closed doors.

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