PA high school athletes are one step closer to paid for name, image, and likeness
High school athletes in Pennsylvania are one step closer to being able to cash in on their name, image and likeness.
Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association board passed the first reading of a policy that would allow high school student athletes to get paid for "commercial endorsements, promotional activities, social media presence, product or service advertisements and unique digital items/assets," according to the policy.
Two more readings are required before the policy passes.
Name, image and likeness:What it means for high schools and could NIL deals be coming to PA?
If passed, Pennsylvania would become the 10th state to allow NIL deals for their athletes, including neighboring states New York and New Jersey. It didn't pass in Ohio.
The policy wouldn't give athletes or companies free reign to sign deals. There are numerous restrictions:
- No one associated with the athlete's school -- including employees, booster clubs, coaches, administrators or alumni -- can solicit, arrange, negotiate or pay for a student's use of their NIL.
- The athlete can't use PIAA or a PIAA-member school in any NIL activities. That includes the school, team name, nickname, logo, uniform or school-identifying clothing or items.
- Athletes can't endorse or promote goods or services during a team or school activity.
- Athletes can't wear clothing or display the logo, insignia or identifying mark of an NIL partner during team or school activities unless it is part of the standard uniform for that sport.
- Athletes cannot promote or endorse adult entertainment products and services, alcohol products, controlled substances, opioids, casinos and gambling (including sports betting, lottery and betting in connection with video games, online games and mobile devices), weapons, firearms or ammunition.
One issue that isn't addressed in the policy pertains to who can legally sign any NIL deals. It's not a problem in college, where most of the athletes are over 18. The reverse is true in high school, where most of the athletes are minors.
Melissa Mertz, PIAA associate executive director, said the association will be "looking to partner with a company that will provide education to students and families on all aspects of NIL and what they need to know."
Shelly Stallsmith is a sports reporter for GameTimePA and the York Daily Record, a member of the USA Today Network. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @shelstallsmith.