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Texas introduces new bill, may be next domino to fall in the hunt for NIL at high school level

College Football
Photo credit: USATSI

After the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), the state’s governing body on athletics, hinted at a future proposal to the state executive committee featuring a change in NIL policy, the question quickly became, ‘Who’s next?’

On Monday, Texas state representative Giovanni Capriglione filed House Bill 1802, which seeks to reform the state’s existing legislation on name, image and likeness. As per the bill, student-athletes who are age 18 and meet the minimum grade requirement laid out in section 33.081(c) of the University Interscholastic League (UIL) education code are eligible to be compensated for their NIL.

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Section 33.081(c) of the UIL states that athletes must receive a grade higher than the equivalent of a 70 on a scale of 100. Failure to meet said requirement results in a suspension from athletic participation.

Additional provisions in the bill include:

  • Prohibiting students from promoting alcohol, any form of tobacco or e-cigarette products, sports betting, casino gambling, firearms or a sexually orientated business (adult shops, clubs or services).
  • Athletes engaging in NIL compensation must receive financial literacy and life skills education.
  • Any NIL deal may not be used to facilitate enrollment or transfer of a student-athlete.

Despite being the state commonly known for sending the most athletic talent to the NCAA, Texas has some of the most restrictive policies for name, image and likeness, so a move to reform the policy would be a monumental shift for the state, and subsequent states which also have restrictive NIL policies.

Earlier this month, a bill in the state of Florida relating to collegiate NIL rules officially moved to amend its state policy. According to a report from The Famuan, House Bill 99 would repeal a provision from the 2020 Intercollegiate Athlete Compensation bill that prohibits a school from directing athletes to a business or entity interested in paying the student for marketing purposes. A change in the policy will allow schools to facilitate deals and net more money to its players while creating opportunity for lesser known players in the state.

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While the policy change will affect collegiate sports, the possibility for movement on the high school front is possible.

With the possibility of Texas and Georgia, two hotbed states finally kicking the rust off the tires, the possibility of a country-wide shift toward allowing NIL may be in motion with those states being two of the largest dominos that need to fall. Currently 25 states, plus the District of Columbia, allow athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness.