Texas may join the growing list of states that allow high school athletes to enter endorsements deals and profit from their name, image, and likeness. This is a dramatic shift from the stance that Texas took in its name, image, and likeness (NIL) legislation. In Texas' NIL legislation, Texas expressly prohibited high school athletes from entering NIL deals. This led to top high school football recruit Quinn Ewers opting out of his senior year of high school to take advantage of NIL deals while enrolled at Ohio State University. Ewers decision led many to question if this would be a recurring theme amongst high school athletes in states that prohibit NIL deals for high school athletes. Currently there are nine states that allow high school athletes to sign NIL deals. Those states are California, Kansas, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Alaska, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Utah.
Since Ewers opted out of his senior year in high school to enroll in Ohio State and pursue NIL deals, we have seen high school athletes enter some pretty massive NIL deals. One of the most notable came from high school basketball standout Mikey Williams who signed a major NIL deal with Puma. This made Williams the first high school basketball player to sign a deal with a major shoe company. At the time, Williams attended Vertical Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina. Vertical Academy is a prep school and therefore is not subject to North Carolina's ban on high school athletes entering NIL deals. Most recently, Nike inked its first deal with two high school athletes when the company signed a multi-year deal with Alyssa and Gisele Thompson, both members of the US National Soccer Team.
While most states currently prohibit NIL deals for high school athletes, the number of states that allow NIL deals for high school athletes is sure to continue to grow. Despite taking that hard stance against high school athletes' NIL rights, Texas appears to already be having a change of heart. The Texas state legislature is expected to consider the issue in January 2023. The Ohio High School Athletic Association voted against amending its rules to allow high school athletes to engage in NIL deals. This decision is surely shortsighted and not based in reality as NIL is here for college athletes and its growing for high school athletes. Ohio is sure to revisit its descions just as Texas has. As more high school athletes enter NIL deals, it is clear that NIL for high school athletes is most likey here to stay. What do you think? Should high school athletes be allowed to enter NIL deals? Please comment below!
For more information on how to prepare for NIL opportunities download my free e-book "The NIL Era - What College Athletes Need to Know." Also, for more on college athletes' name, image, and likeness rights follow me on Twitter @esquire_coach and on Instagram and TikTok @the_esquirecoach. To receive updates from The Esquire Coach Blog directly to your email please subscribe below.