Wilsonville — In the latest on the everchanging landscape of high school sports, the OSAA Executive Board is set to vote on a proposal that would change the language and set parameters on endorsement deals related to Name, Image, Likeness (NIL). In a conversation with Kyle Stanfield, the OSAA contact on NIL, Elite Oregon Girls learned to which extent that the new policy would allow for student-athletes to profit on themselves and the different parameters that would be implemented along with it.
In short, the new NIL policy would fully allow athletes to enter into endorsement deals and receive monetary compensation related to their name, image, and likeness. For example, an athlete can enter into a deal with a business or company that allows them to be paid for using their credibility and name as an athlete to promote the business, and create products that use their name, image, or likeness, and allow them to receive monetary compensation for that as examples. A direct example would be if Nike signed an athlete to a deal to create their own shoe line or brand of products bearing their name, image, or likeness, then pay them a direct sum, royalty, etc., in exchange for that, like they do with Sabrina Ionescu and Naomi Osaka.
The new policy wouldn’t allow athletes to be compensated directly for their athletic performance, accolades, or achievements, which is already in place within the current OSAA guidelines. An example would be if EOG awarded a $100 monetary bonus to the athlete that received the Makaia Gilkey Athlete of the Year Award: The athlete can accept the personalized award but couldn’t accept the monetary bonus that comes with it, as it would make the athlete ineligible as a result of that. Further, the new policy would prohibit the use any OSAA logos, school logos, school names, facilities, or any individual directly connected to the school where the athlete participates from doing an NIL deal with an athlete from that school.
Another example would be: EOG does an NIL deal with Bella Jacobson, a volleyball player from Crescent Valley, to produce a t-shirt line that bears her name, image, and likeness. Under the OSAA proposal, EOG could do a deal as long as it doesn’t utilize the Crescent Valley name, logo, or utilize anything or anyone connected with the school. So, the shirts could say “Bella Jacobson, state champion volleyball player from Corvallis, Oregon”, but not “Bella Jacobson, 5A state champion volleyball player from Crescent Valley.” Further, all promotion of the example product couldn’t utilize the fact that she plays for Crescent Valley or anything related to the OSAA such as classification size, as it would violate the NIL policy and risk their eligibility.
To be clear, Elite Oregon Girls has had no discussions with any athlete on an NIL deal, these are purely hypothetical examples that are educational and help understand the proposed policy in a tighter scope. This proposal will be voted on by the OSAA on September 10th, so stay tuned for updates on the result of that vote and the next steps for the policy.