In only a few months since legislation passed in early July, the ability for college athletes to benefit from their Name, Image and Likeness seems like old news. Popular athletes from the most lucrative college programs to HBCUs and even a few growing Division-III teams are seeing monetary gains off the field for moving the chains on it.
But, in the midst of money changing hands and tweets being fired between top players and fast-food joints, the rights of athletes have already gotten a little muddied. And one group has been mostly overlooked since the wave of news came in the summer: High school athletes.
Yes, high school athletes (in a few places) are able to make money from NIL. And for some, being the most popular sports team for dozens of miles, it could mean some pretty interesting things.
For Quinn Ewer, the celebrated five-star recruit who will be heading to Ohio State after his first semester at Texas' Westlake High School, NIL was a reality a few months ago.
But before you head out to your favorite restaurant, barber shop or boutique, telling them you'll tag them in a tweet in exchange for some gift cards, it's best to know where high school athletes can make money.
Here are the six states where high school athletes can monetize their Name, Image, and Likeness:
California - Confirmed Permission
In the California Interscholastic Federation Constitution and Bylaws, it states that
"any student-athlete can be compensated for their name, image, and likeness, so long as there is no recognition of the student-athletes' school, school logos, uniforms, or insignia."
What that means is you can't appear in an ad if you are wearing you school's athletic uniform or even a t-shirt that has your school's name or logo on it. Also, you can't say that you are associated with your school in a paid advertisement or social media post.
Illinois - Confirmed Permission
The Illinois High School Association says in their IHSA Handbook that high school athletes can earn money for their NIL, so long as the compensation does not exceed $75.00. This means the price of any clothing or meals you accept as a benefit of your name, image, and likeness must cost under $75.00.
Alternatively, athletes who start their own company and make a profit from goods or services sold are not confined to that sum. But, before you launch your own brand and start selling merch, make sure you triple check the eligibility rules of the IHSA and the NCAA.
Maine - Perceived Permission*
While the bylaws have not yet been updated, under the existing bylaws in the Maine Principals' Association 2021-2022 Handbook, it appears that high school athletes have the freedom to pursue benefits from their name, image, and likeness to a certain degree.
There has been no confirmation that monetizing NIL is permitted or prohibited from MPA administration. Check for updates to these guidelines in the following months at the MPA website.
North Dakota - Confirmed Permission
The North Dakota High School Activities Association permits that a student-athlete can be compensated for their NIL, so long as the compensation does not exceed $300 in value.
More clarity on this will be added to the NDHSAA Constitution And Bylaws in the coming months.
Utah - Perceived Permission*
Under the current bylaws of the Utah High School Activities Association, it does not clearly state that NIL monetization is permitted, but it does not imply that is prohibited.
There has been no confirmation that monetizing NIL is permitted or prohibited from UHSAA administration. Check for updates to these guidelines in the following months at the UHSAA website.
Vermont - Perceived Permission*
Within their High School Policies, the Vermont Principals' Association does not state that NIL monetization is prohibited.
There has been no confirmation that monetizing NIL is permitted or prohibited from VPA administration. Check for updates to these guidelines in the following months at the VPA Athletics website.
Perceived Permission* - This note implies that no confirmation from the state's high school governing body has been issued. Under the current bylaws or rules, there was no language implying that NIL benefits were prohibited for student athletes.