The NCAA made waves two summers ago when it approved a new NIL (Name Image and Likeness) policy for its collegiate athletes. For as long as college sports have been around, players have been unable to financially benefit from the licensing of their name or an artistic representation of them. This includes but is not limited to autographs, shoe deals, promoting a product, appearing in a TV ad, billboards, being in video games and selling jerseys with the player’s name on the back. Advocates for these rules claim, amongst other things, that this gives a clear divide between amateur and professional sports. Despite this, several lawsuits, and a multi-decade resistance from many in power, these rules were upended by the NCAA.
Since June 2021, collegiate players may now benefit financially from the use of their name, image and likeness- including doing any of the things mentioned above.
With the publishing of the new 2023-2024 Kentucky High School Athletic Association handbook in the first week of July, high school athletes across the state may now make money from NIL deals. This will, no doubt, be a massive change for the landscape of Kentucky high school sports. Only time will tell how big of an effect it will have on the kids, the teams and the community.