Missouri law OKs NIL compensation for high school athletes who stay in-state

July 18, 2023 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
If Missouri high school student-athletes sign to play at an in-state college, they will be able to cash in on name, image and likeness (NIL) endorsement deals, according to a new state law.

In a new amendment to the state’s NIL law, which goes into effect August 28, and provides incentives for student-athletes to stay in-state as opposed to leaving. The change reverses a previous ruling that barred high school student-athletes who had signed letters of intent from receiving NIL compensation before graduating high school.

A recent story from The Kansas City Star detailed the new state law and how it will affect student-athletes.

missouriBelow is an excerpt from The Kansas City Star story.

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think it helps the University of Missouri,” said Eric Thomas, the head football coach at Lee’s Summit High School. However, Thomas said he was concerned the law could open the door to legislation similar to states such as California that allow high school athletes to earn deals before they sign with a college. “There’s kids in California that are making all kinds of money off NIL right now through their high school career,” he said.

“They’re making money as sophomores, juniors, seniors in high school. That’s where I start getting concerned that we start allowing that into the high school realm in the state of Missouri so I’m hoping this doesn’t open the door for that to continue to come down in Missouri.”

In response to the legislation, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) updated its policies to reflect the changes. Previously, high school athletes who had signed letters of intent were at risk of losing their amateur status if they capitalized on their name, image and likeness, Jennifer Rukstad, the MSHSAA’s executive director, told The Star.

The new law also allows high school athletes to discuss potential NIL deals with Missouri colleges before signing.

Leon Douglas, the head football coach at North Kansas City High School, said the new law creates some advantages as well as some “disadvantages in regards to team dynamics and how people handle it.”

The new law is a great attempt to keep Missouri high school students in-state, he said. However, the age of social media has made that more difficult.

“Social media, the cell phone, the accessibility of the cell phone, has now made the kid who was just a community hero, a local guy, a regional guy — now you’re a national guy,” he said.

State Rep. Kurtis Gregory, a Marshall Republican who helped draft the legislation, said the high school provisions were a way to “close down the borders and keep Missouri’s best athletes in the state of Missouri.”

To read the full story from the Kansas City Star, click here.