More than two years into the era of name, image, and likeness (NIL) at the college level, high school athletes are continuing to gain more publicity rights across the country.
Georgia is reportedly expected to become the 32nd state to allow high school athletes to monetize their NIL on Monday. Only 19 states had approved publicity rights for high school athletes as of last October — now only 18 states are holding out.
Georgia’s decision is significant because it could create a domino effect among other Southern states, according to NIL expert Dan Greene. Alabama, Florida, Texas, Mississippi, and South Carolina are the remaining anti-NIL states in SEC territory.
“If approved, I believe this will create a domino effect with other southern high school associations approving NIL sooner rather than later,” Greene told On3 on Friday.
Georgia has 46 four- or five-star football recruits in the high school class of 2024. In the class of 2026, USC quarterback commit Julian “JuJu” Lewis boasts 130,000 Instagram followers and graced the cover of Sports Illustrated’s money issue last month.
“JuJu is probably the reason that NIL is being looked at hard in Georgia because I don’t care who you are, and what side of the fence you’re on, you got to look at this at some point as a parent and know that young man could have major opportunities,” said On3’s Rusty Mansell.
NIL Monetization Is Allowed In:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire*
- New Jersey
- New Mexico*
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island*
*new additions to this list in the past year
NIL Monetization Is Prohibited In:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
As we explored last October, lucrative deals for football and men’s basketball players tend to dominate the headlines, but the issue of NIL affects all high school sports. Take Claire Curzan, for example, who had to choose between endorsement opportunities and swimming for her high school team last season as a senior because of North Carolina’s restrictions. Curzan’s Tokyo Olympic teammates, Bella Sims and Katie Grimes, hardly got a choice at all as they were deemed ineligible in Nevada for accepting funds from USA Swimming.
“It is hard to decide on getting an education versus making a living,” said Curzan’s mother, Tracy, who played soccer and lacrosse at Harvard. “If you’ve got a gift, you shouldn’t have to choose between an education and that … (NIL) just opened up all these new avenues.”