THSCA concerned over possible NIL legislation coming to Texas

THSCA concerned over possible NIL legislation coming to Texas
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 9:25 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Name, Image and Likeness deals, better known as NIL have flipped the college recruiting scene upside down so the question has to be asked. Is it coming to Texas High Schools?

Former Southlake Carrol quarterback Quinn Ewers made national headlines when he was the first big name in the Lone Star state to benefit by sitting out his senior season for the Dragons and heading to Ohio State early for NIL deals that totaled $1.4 million. This spring, standout Texas Longhorn running back Bijan Robinson signed an NIL deal with Lamborghini Austin. Last week Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fischer got into a war of words over their recent recruiting classes and NIL deals.

When it comes to NIL deals for Texas high school athletes the simple answer is - No. Texas is one of 26 states that does not allow NIL deals for high school student-athletes. But change could be on the horizon according to Joe Martin, Executive Director of the Texas High School Coaches Association.

“Two different lobbyists have made us aware of proposals that will be rolled out in the legislative session,” Martin said. “There is a concern that one of them will be that high school athletes are allowed to participate in NIL like NCAA athletes can. Whether or not that happens we are not for sure. Obviously the session does not start until January but we feel like this will be a heavy topic. "

The THSCA, which has over 74,000 members, announced a partnership on Monday with Eccker Sports, an information company for high school athletics, to provide educational services and resources to help high school coaches, administrators, student-athletes, and their parents and guardians navigate the challenges NIL contracts are bringing to high school sports.

“Understanding NIL can be a real challenge for high school coaches and educators,” 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.”

High School coaches on hand for the announcement say the biggest challenge they face is the landscape seems to be changing daily with what is allowed and there is sometimes misinformation.

“The focus for us right now in the State of Texas is our kids in college or trying to get to the next level,” North Shore head football coach Jon Kay said. “I anticipate some changes in that as well. We’re just trying to stay in front of the curve and provide the right information to people that are thoroughly confused by what they see in the media.”

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