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Student-athlete likeness right

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Not only are name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights claimed in varsity sports, high school athletics is also beginning to see an expansion of NIL rights.

After the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced it would no longer enforce nearly all of its NIL rules prohibiting individual athletes competing in NCAA-affiliated institutions from marketing and profiting from their NIL, bans against high school athletes capitalizing on the same NIL rights have always been the national norm. Shortly after the change announced by the NCAA, the executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, Dr. Karissa Niehoff, said the NCAA change does not affect high school athletes and the rules. of member states banning athletes “from receiving money for wearing their school uniform.” . “However, as Dr. Niehoff acknowledged,

high school athletics is governed state by state and many are revising their rule books.

In California, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) ruled that its rules have never prohibited athletes from enjoying their NIL rights because the CIF is unwilling to declare an athlete ineligible to participate in the film economy as well. and state television. However, California prohibits athletes from using their school’s name, logos, uniforms, or markings in endorsements.

New York and New Jersey have joined with California in granting NIL rights to high school athletes. While the New York legislature has yet to pass state law granting NIL rights to state college athletes, the executive committee of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has revised the rule. state amateur to allow high school athletes to benefit from their NIL rights without jeopardizing their amateur status.

However, the NYSPHSAA revision contains restrictions similar to the California rule. New York athletes are also prohibited from using their school’s name, logos, marks or affiliation with the NYSPHSAA in any referral. The new NIL rights also prohibit student-athletes from appearing in any endorsement wearing their high school uniform. Violation of these restrictions could result in loss of eligibility to compete. NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas referred not only to the NCAA rule change, but also to the increase in “social media influencers” and the difficulty in distinguishing between online fame and sports fame to apply restrictions.

New Jersey is the latest to give high school athletes sponsorship rights. The executive committee of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) has approved a NIL proposal to allow athletes to benefit from their NIL rights. The New Jersey Association adopted the California model by banning athletes from using their school’s logos and brands. New Jersey athletes are also prohibited from endorsing certain categories of products and services, including adult entertainment, alcohol, cannabis, gambling, and firearms. NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire commented:

“Everyone is excited. I think there are athletes… who currently have a position and a presence that will probably benefit from it. “

The New Jersey rule goes into effect on January 1, 2022.

While states are making or considering NIL changes for high school athletes, some athletes are unwilling to delay the use of their NIL rights. Best basketball rookie and expected high-profile graduate in 2023, Mikey Williams has announced a sports agent deal and a multi-year sponsorship deal with Puma. Williams avoided the state’s potential NIL restrictions because he attends an independent high school in North Carolina, which is not governed by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA). The NCHSAA is expected to review its NIL policy at its winter meeting in December.

Jackson Lewis PC © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 322