OHSAA High Schools to vote on NIL Referendum

High school student-athletes a part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) may soon be able to profit off their own name, image, and likeness (NIL).

As of this week, hundreds of Ohio high schools will vote on a referendum to create a NIL program for high school student-athletes.

ohsaaOHSAA Director of Media Relations Tim Stried says after NIL was approved at the college level last summer members knew it would also have to deal with it.

A recent article from Local12.com highlighted what the details of an Ohio NIL deal would look like in the OHSAA.

Below is an excerpt from the Local12.com article.

If approved, high school athletes will be able to sign endorsements with companies.

The athletes would not be able to use school, team, or OHSAA logos in commercials.

They would also be barred from endorsements from casinos or other gambling, alcohol, tobacco, or anything drug-related.

Stried says the organization built safeguards into the referendum.

“For example, if this passes, a student-athlete could not wear a school uniform when they’re doing a commercial or promoting a product,” Stried said. “They couldn’t use the school’s name. They could not do this commercial at the school itself. They couldn’t do this kind of commercial during an official team function.”

Stried says any athlete would need to inform their school’s athletic department of any NIL deal into which they would enter.

He can see why students would want the program; after all, it can help get their name out there even more. But he says he does not think the average amount of money a student-athlete earns will be that high.

“It’s not going to make or break anyone’s college choice, but I think it’s going to have a slow impact, and then it may get bigger from there,” Stried said. “But certainly, a student-athlete does not have to enter into any NIL deal. This is an agreement between the student-athlete, his or her family, and the company.”

Voting runs from May 1 through May 16.