Courtesy: Robert Dickson
Last week, South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) Commissioner Jerome Singleton openly discussed revising the SCHSL policy and stance on amateurism to allow high school athletes to receive compensation for their name, image and likeness (NIL).
As of November 1, 2023, there are 33 states and the District of Columbia that permit high school athletes to enter into NIL deals. The states that still prohibit their athletes from receiving compensation related to their NIL are: Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
|High School NIL is Permitted||High School NIL is Prohibited|
|Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington||Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming|
For high school-aged swimmers in the United States, this time of the year brings a lot of fast swimming and athletes could take advantage of massive time drops at their winter championship meet. As a high school athlete in a state where NIL is permitted, you could start thinking about different brands that you use or are interested in and then reach out to them. When interacting with a brand, it is important to explain what makes you different from another athlete they could partner with and why a partnership would also benefit the brand. Athletes that are attending the U.S. Open or Winter Junior Championships should explain to brands the magnitude of attending a meet of that caliber.
In looking at SwimSwam’s Top 20 NCAA Swimming Recruits in the boys’ and girls’ classes of 2024, only 11 of the female athletes reside in states that allow high school athletes to enter into NIL deals. Notably, Olympian Katie Grimes lives in Nevada which became the 28th state to allow for NIL at the high school level in April 2023.
The men fare slightly better, with 13 of the 20 athletes living in states that allow for high school NIL. However, Kaii Winkler, the NC State Commit, and number one ranked male in the class of 2024, lives in Florida and is unable to receive any NIL compensation.
As states slowly begin to permit their high school athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, athletes can start brainstorming about what brands they would like to partner with and what a partnership could look like.