Local reaction is mixed, but NIL is here to stay in Iowa high school sports

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 7:27 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The IHSAA and IGHSAU published guidance on NIL in Iowa high school sports Wednesday.

IHSAA executive director Tom Keating says the guidelines are meant to establish norms and help young athletes and parents navigate the world of NIL.

“I don’t know that I’d say (NIL is) a good thing or not a good thing, I’d say it’s here,” Keating said. “We felt it would help parents and students to have some guidance.”

The local reaction has been mixed. Western Dubuque head baseball coach Casey Bryant says it’s simply a matter of athletes getting what they deserve if someone’s willing to pay.

“I’m pretty sure most high school kids won’t be making a fortune off of this,” Bryant said “But if they’re going to make some income to help their college tuition or help support their lifestyle it should be them that does it, not others.”

Others, like Linn-Mar head football coach Tim Lovell, are worried sponsorship deals will put the “I” in team.

“We don’t have anybody getting paid right now and so I would hate for perceptions of the team to change because somebody’s getting money,” Lovell said.

Here is the full list of guidelines published by the IHSAA and IGHSAU:

A student may earn compensation from the use of their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) consistent with current IHSAA regulations and provided:

  • The compensation is not contingent on specific athletic performance or achievement (e.g., financial incentives based on points scored).
  • The compensation (or prospective compensation) is not provided as an inducement to attend a particular school (“undue influence”) or to remain enrolled at a particular school.
  • The compensation is not provided by the school or an agent of the school (e.g., booster club, foundation, etc.).

In seeking compensation for NIL:

  • The student should not use the IHSAA or member school marks or logos in any NIL activity.
  • The student should not wear apparel or equipment which includes the IHSAA logo or member school marks or logos for the purpose of any NIL activity.
  • Student should not reference the IHSAA or member school name or mascot for the purpose of any NIL activity.
  • The student should not use a member school’s facilities for the purpose of NIL activity.
  • The student should not promote activities nor products associated with the following: gaming/gambling; alcoholic beverages, tobacco, cannabis, or related products; banned or illegal substances; adult entertainment products or services; or weapons (e.g., firearms).
  • The student and his/her family should seek guidance from his/her member school.
  • The student and his/her family should seek their own legal counsel and tax advice when considering any NIL activity.
  • The student and his/her family should contact the NCAA, NJCAA, and/or NAIA to ensure any NIL activity does not jeopardize collegiate eligibility.