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Three new states allow high school student-athletes to profit off NIL

Photo credit: Winslow Productions

Iowa, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia have added contingencies for high school athletes to be able to profit on NIL opportunities.

Starting with Iowa, the state HSAA released an updated guide that contained regulations for high schoolers who wanted to take on NIL sponsorships.

Within those regulations are stipulations on the use of team logos in any NIL deal and a more unique clause in that athletes are not allowed to sign with any company within a “sin industry” such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment and firearms, something only Kansas and Connecticut had previously outlined.

On the same day, Massachusetts became the 16th state to allow NIL deals for student-athletes from Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association eligible schools.

The MIAA presented the same clauses in their handbook changes as Iowa did early in the day with the “sin industry” prohibitions and not allowing MIAA logos in NIL content, on top of athletes not being able to wear their sponsor’s merchandise during team activities.

“The money is great, but if you did something unknowingly and you take the money and realize it put your ability to play at risk, now you think maybe it wasn’t worth it. We need to make sure students aren’t being taken advantage of,” said Thomas Anderson, MIAA board member and superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools.

On Friday, the District of Columbia State Athletic Association followed suit with similar restrictions for their high schoolers. NIL activities were to be permitted, but without using DCSAA school logos present.

The DCSAA also made clear that strict punishments would be given out if an athlete were to break the rules; “A student who forfeits their amateur status under the provisions of this rule is ineligible to participate at the interscholastic level in the sport in which the violation occurred,” per their handbook.

All three of these states emphasized educating not only the student-athletes, but their parents as well. Considering that high school athletes are now eligible to sign NIL contracts, that would mean that students under the age of 18 are eligible and will presumably need guidance.

“We’re here as a resource for any topic, and that now includes NIL. I strongly encourage families to seek legal counsel in these circumstances,” said Kennedy High School (Cedar Rapids, IA) Athletic Director, Aaron Stecker to The Gazette.

As summer vacation comes to a close and the school year gets closer to kick-off, states that have not passed NIL rules for high schoolers will have tight deadlines but changes during the school year are far from impossible, just less likely with busy athletic directors serving on athletic association boards.