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07/27/21- Update and Information Relative to NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) for Kentucky High School Students

July 27, 2021 2021-2022 News Releases

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At its July 23, 2021 meeting, the KHSAA Board of Control heard an update on recent activity at the intercollegiate level regarding NCAA changes with Name, Image, and Likeness. On June 24, 2021, An Executive Order was entered by Governor Andy Beshear’s office solely and exclusively related to the intercollegiate level. This order can be viewed on our website at https://bit.ly/3i5ir5v. These changes, exclusively at the collegiate level, will provide intercollegiate student-athletes attending a postsecondary institution an opportunity to earn compensation for their NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) in amounts that are “commensurate with the market value” for the authorized use of their NIL. It should be noted that this use isn’t unfettered and contains several limitations to remain NCAA eligible.

The KHSAA continues to receive inquiries about this order and its potential impact on high school students participating in KHSAA sports. Nothing about this order or any other action or contemplated action in the Commonwealth has impacted the interscholastic (high school or below) level. Building administrators should be cautious and urge anyone to be extremely careful about overzealous entrepreneurs who may seek to involve high school students in various enterprises. Simply put, a student participating for a KHSAA member school who capitalizes on their athletic fame by receiving money or gifts of a monetary nature above the limits contained in Bylaw 10 will forfeit their amateur status and eligibility in a sport. For the full wording of Bylaw 10, see the information at https://bit.ly/3wOzgHg.

KHSAA Bylaw 10 is extremely clear in its prohibitions and requirements. This Bylaw is also adopted as state regulation through 702 KAR 7:065. While there will be a continual discussion about the topic in the near and likely distant future, including a possible clarifying proposal at the upcoming annual meeting on behalf of the Board of Control, nothing has changed about any of the requirements for amateurism in high school sports. It would be disheartening for a high school student to lose out on the privilege of playing interscholastic sports simply due to a preventable error.

For those interested in further revisions to this topic, significant material is available on the subject as presented to the Board of Control at their meeting at https://bit.ly/2UU5J0P. And while the NFHS has no direct authority over any state association, including Kentucky, we very much appreciate the thought-provoking reminders contained in their most recent discussion on the topic at https://bit.ly/3BLq8Wv.

It is worth noting the complexity of the implementation at the upper NCAA Division I level and the intricate details that will need to be managed to protect eligibility. A similar structure would likely be needed if there were any permissive changes, but that would be long after the considerable discussion about the real and true purpose of high school sports and interscholastic competition from a specific school community solely among amateurs. Unlike other levels of play, there are no prohibitions on students holding employment while playing, restrictions on earnings not related to playing, and so many of the other issues that have surfaced during the collegiate debate. In addition, it is doubtful that any of the high school programs in our Commonwealth have proceeds that compare to the collegiate programs that were much of the cause of the initial consideration.

Certainly, this topic will be ripe for future discussion. If you need additional information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the office.

– KHSAA –

About the Kentucky High School Athletic Association
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association was organized in 1917 and is the agency designated by the Kentucky Department of Education to manage high school athletics in the Commonwealth. The Association is a voluntary nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of 285 member schools both public and non-public. The KHSAA awards 215 state championships to 51 teams and 164 individuals in 13 sports and 6 sport-activities, funds catastrophic insurance coverage for its more than 106,000 rostered member school student-athletes, provides coaching education and sports safety programs for more than 12,000 coaches, and licenses and facilitates the distribution of training material for over 4,000 contest officials.

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