July 1, 2022

Volume XII, Number 182

Advertisement
Advertisement

June 30, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 29, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 28, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Will Ohio Be Next in Allowing High School Athletes to Profit From NIL?

Over the next two weeks, May 1 – May 16, 2022, 817 Ohio High School Athletic Association (“OHSAA”) school principals will vote in a referendum on Issue 12B, a proposed bylaw that would allow high school athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness by signing endorsement agreements. 

The proposal generally mirrors the changes made last year expanding the rights of collegiate athletes, and similar high school-level rules have already passed in eight states. Specifically, the proposal would allow high school athletes to enter into endorsement agreements under the following conditions: 

  • The athlete’s team, school, or the OHSAA logo is not used.

  • The endorsing company does not offer products or services that conflict with the OHSAA’s mission of education-based athletics (e.g. no casinos, gambling, alcohol, drugs or tobacco).

  • The athlete does not engage in marketing/advertising during any official team activity. 

  • The agreement cannot require the athlete to display a sponsor’s product, or otherwise advertise for the sponsor, during official team activities.

  • The agreement is made solely with the individual athlete and does not provide money, merchandise, services of value or any other benefits directly to the athlete’s school or team.

  • The athlete discloses the proposed agreement to their school. Schools are encouraged to specify a specific person to whom such information is to be reported.

The timing of the vote is largely motivated by a class action lawsuit filed against the Florida High School Athletic Association challenging its prohibition against high school athletes from profiting from their name, image and likeness. The OHSAA has explained it cannot afford a similar lawsuit, and desires to shape a bylaw that allows schools to provide input rather than leaving it up to the courts.

The OHSAA has already held informational meetings regarding all 14 of this cycle’s referendum items, including Issue 12B, and voting has commenced. If passed by a majority of member schools voting, the new regulation would become effective May 16, 2022. If it becomes effective, Districts will need to determine what policies and procedures will be needed to handle compliance issues and what role, if any, the school will play in reviewing contracts and advising students in this new marketplace. 

While many do not believe the referendum will pass this go around, few expect the issue to disappear, and it is likely that litigation will occur, or the issue will continue to be put up for a vote until it passes

©2022 Roetzel & AndressNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 122
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Adrienne B. Kirshner Education Attorney Roetzel & Andress Cleveland
Of Counsel

Adrienne focuses her practice on education law, providing guidance to schools on matters relating to the education of students with disabilities, including the evaluation of students with suspected disabilities and issues concerning compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Adrienne reviews IEPs and ETRs for legal compliance, attends IEP and ETR team meeting when warranted, and handles all aspects of litigation concerning student matters. Adrienne also advises school districts regarding compliance with...

216-456-3850
Jake Nicholson Lawyer Roetzel & Andress Law Firm
Associate

Mr. Nicholson is an associate in the Corporate, Tax and Transactional Group. He serves clients in a wide variety of transactional and business advisory matters. Prior to joining Roetzel, Mr. Nicholson served as a legal extern for a U.S. Olympic training facility and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, and worked in non-legal capacities for a Fortune 500 financial services company, a major professional sports franchise, and a technology startup.

216-820-4236
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement