Name, Image & Likeness(NIL)

Now that NCAA athletes are allowed to profit from their name, image & likeness there are rising senior high school athletes considering foregoing their final season to cash in on very lucrative endorsement deals.

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This does seem like the likely next battle. It’s a shame that a HS athlete is forced to make that choice. There is a role for state associations in regulating competition between schools and protecting young athletes from overzealous coaches, for sure. But too often they enforce rules that limit the options of HS student athletes without much basis another than outdated ideas about amateurism. For some reason the generous contract I assume Southlake Carroll has with Nike or whoever, which likely outfits the coaches and contains other perks for the adults involved with the program, doesn’t violate amateurism standards. But apparently the whole thing would be tainted if a kid signs with a kombucha company…

It’s interesting that Penn State women’s soccer head coach Erica Dambach released the following recruiting statement:

“When you are at Penn State, you compete for National Championships with your teammates, earn a degree that is recognized worldwide and have the experiences of a lifetime. The affiliation makes a statement and that intrinsic value of being a Nittany Lion provides distinct advantages with the opportunities with name, image and likeness.”

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Lot of changes right now in college athletics. NIL issues. Increased transferability for student-athletes. Uncertainty with conferences. President of NCAA says maybe its time to re-think and decentralize college sports. Nobody knows what the landscape will look like in 3-5 years and certainly 10+.

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Several different news outlets characterized the move by the University of Texas from the Big 12 to the SEC as being prompted by NIL recruiting concerns.


Please, this kid has to decide if he should collect money for his NIL now, or wait and entire FOUR MONTHS until he graduates from hs in Dec/Jan. If he actually wins another state championship, wouldn’t his NIL be worth more and maybe he could make up the lost revenue from those 4 months.

It’s a choice he has to make. He can’t do both. He couldn’t do both last year either. The argument for letting college kids earn money on their NIL was that the colleges were earning money off them. Are high schools also exploiting their athletes? In high school, it is usually a parents run booster club trying to earn money to improve facilities, pay for a bus, buy new uniforms for the cheerleaders. Their own parents exploiting them? The horror.

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The concern is the possibility of incurring a severe injury while playing high school football.

I’m not sure I follow why a kid in Texas, who might be worth $1M in NIL in Texas…would leave and go to Ohio and assume his NIL is worth nearly that much without being and playing in Texas?

Ohio State has 3 other QB’s who are ahead of Evers on the depth chart right now (C.J. Stroud, Kyle McCord, Jack Miller). NIL value in Ohio isn’t zero…but it’s not likely to be remotely close to $1M unless he figures out how to start at OSU. This kid’s value is in Texas…playing in Texas…to football fans in Texas.

This reads to me like the family attempting to quickly change the rules in Texas by making a threat of leaving and not playing this year. He’s not going to move to Ohio and generate millions until he’s on the field there.

OSU is much more likely to compete for and to win a national championship.

Players on national championship contender teams get lots of publicity which should lead to lucrative endorsement deals.

Also, I believe that the Texas high school quarterback already has an endorsement offer of cash & equity.

No doubt that he is worth a great deal as the OSU QB, but it won’t be this fall. His TX offers are for this season. Potential sponsors are going to want him on the field for their investment. Conflating the two isn’t reality…it’s a threat.

The kid and his family are playing a dangerous game. He would greatly benefit from playing this year, so he is more ready to challenge for the starting role in 2022 at OSU. THAT’S where his money is now…the offers in Texas are not allowed and accordingly should be ignored.

My advice to the family…go get an insurance policy against injury this fall, and play in TX without all of the legal challenges and distractions. If he’s that good…$1M won’t make a damn bit of difference in 7 years when he signs his first post-rookie contract in the NFL. Getting to that contract 1 year sooner by being the starter at OSU next year will be worth $100M by then…if he’s that good.

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Many great high school football players and many great college football players fail to make it in the NFL.

Insuring against a football injury is not an affordable option for many families, although it is in this case.

My understanding is that the sponsorship / endorsement NIL deal is not contingent on the athlete playing high school football this year. Am I correct ?

For me, the question is: what is being protected by these sorts of rules at the HS level?

NFHS and the various state associations can no longer argue they are protecting college eligibility. They aren’t keeping money out of youth sports, either, as most of the prominent programs have contracts with the major shoe companies as well as other sponsors. I have no problem with that, but fail to see why revenue and goods flowing to a coach or school is just fine, but money flowing to a player is somehow corrupt.

Forty years ago the claim was that Olympic athletes were “amateurs” and so couldn’t be paid, lest the whole Olympic enterprise would come crashing down. That seems silly in retrospect.

But that concern is there whether he can get paid in high school or not. He wants to get paid for NIL AND win another state championship. That’s not allowed and he has to choose. If he wants to move on to the college/professional rules go ahead but then he can’t win another championship as an amateur (high school student). College students make this decision all the time, to give up their final year(s) of eligibility to go pro, to not play in play off games so that they can train for the combine or don’t want to risk injury, or to remain eligible under the rules.

The high school rules do not allow earning money for NIL. He has to pick. If he’s worried about an injury, move on to college.

The point of the NIL rule is that a player can have both compensation and amateur status. However, rules at the high school level remain a state based decision as the NCAA–which was a party to the lawsuit which resulted in increased compensation for amateur college football players–does not have any authority over high school football.

NCAA looking to amend/re-write its constitution:

Ewers skipping senior year of high school and enrolling at Ohio State in the fall.

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Probably won’t be the last. Talk about unintended consequences!

He’s basically selling his “house” amidst a crazy market.


Ohio State new licensing program:

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Ewers’ HS team plays my kid’s team in the first game of this year. Boy, too bad we won’t have to face the best player in the nation. :wink: They’re still stocked with talent and played in the top level state final last year. Good for Ewers and hope he rocks it at tOSU.

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