THSCA Partners with Eccker Sports to Help Understand NIL
NIL, perhaps the most disruptive concept in the sports market in the last 40 years, has quickly thrown high school athletics into unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory. A lack of education and resources for the high school market has made it a challenge for coaches to provide the proper guidance to student-athletes.“Understanding NIL can be a real challenge for high school coaches and educators,” THSCA Executive Director Joe Martin said. “It is essential to have up-to-date information on this quickly evolving issue. We have turned to Eccker Sports to provide this information to help our coaches help our kids in Texas.”
With more than 24,700 members, the Texas High School Coaches Association is the largest association of coaches in the world. Its mission is to provide its members with resources, education, and services to serve all high school student-athletes throughout the state.
“NIL is perhaps the biggest issue in sports today, yet it really has been the great unknown and that’s an uncomfortable feeling,” said Lee Wiginton, Head Football Coach at Allen High School and THSCA president-elect. “Our current kids, our kids in college, their families, they come to us for advice on a daily basis. We need to be educated on this subject because they’re relying on us. We, at the THSCA, need to be on the frontlines making sure all of our coaches throughout the state are educated on NIL. The Eccker Sports platform has tremendous value for our community, our kids, and our programs, both now, for those from the past who are dealing with it, and those in the future who will be.”
The fragmentation in high school sports across the country adds layers of complexity to an already challenging NIL environment. For example, there are currently nine states that have laws permitting athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness, 16 states (including Washington DC) are considering adopting new laws, while 26 states, including Texas, prohibit it altogether. Add in all the different school bylaws for high school and college eligibility and you have a situation prone to mistakes.
“Even though we’re a restricted state, it’s critical that we are properly educated on the subject because there’s going to be a ton of kids signing NIL deals out of high school and they need education and resources,” Vandegrift High School Football Coach Drew Sanders said. “Coaches are resources for these kids. I have a couple of big recruits right now and they’re asking what they should do with NIL. Up until now, I haven’t been able to give them much direction, but with this new curriculum and resource hub from Eccker Sports, that has now changed and they feel good about that.”
With more than 60 years of experience in the sports industry, Eccker Sports offers a comprehensive service, including a video curriculum of six module courses online that will educate users on the history of NIL, key terms and concepts, and best practices. Additionally, the Eccker Sports resource hub has the most detailed library of NIL information for the high school market, including articles, state laws, abstracts, summaries, bylaws, interpretations, as well as college and university policies and procedures.
Their Coach Assist toolkit provides high school coaches with NIL presentation templates, podcasts, webinars, one-pagers, pertinent articles, and other tools to help them educate their communities. Finally, the company is building a network of legal, financial, and tax experts to help families build and execute an effective NIL strategy. Each school can register at ecckersports.com for an annual license that provides access to all of its administrators and coaches from every sport.
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“Our goal as a company is to help guide, protect, and inform high school student-athletes and their families so that they can thrive on their NIL journey,” Eccker Sports CEO and Founder Randy Eccker said. “Our team wakes up every day living and breathing NIL, so as things change from state to state, our courses and resources are always up to date. That keeps the coaches armed with the most relevant information to help guide their student-athletes in real-time. We are proud of this partnership and look forward to serving all of the coaches, administrators, student-athletes, and their families throughout the state of Texas.”
Each school can register at ecckersports.com for an annual license that provides access to all of its administrators and coaches from every sport. Several Texas schools have already subscribed to the service, including Allen High School, Arlington Martin, Austin Vandegrift, Converse Judson, Midlothian Heritage, Houston North Shore, Houston Galena Park, and Humble Summer Creek.