skip navigation

WIAA to consider plan for Name, Image, and Likeness opportunities for athletes at Wednesday's Annual Meeting

04/23/2024, 8:00am CDT
By Travis Wilson

At Wednesday's Annual Meeting in Stevens Point, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association member schools will consider three constitutional amendments, the most noteworthy of which would provide Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) opportunities for high school students.

The Annual Meeting, held this year for the first time at Sentry Theater in Stevens Point, provides an opportunity for schools to get together in one location for the only time during the year, as staff and Board of Control members will provide updates to the membership, including a Director's Report from Executive Director Stephanie Hauser. In addition, an open forum period allows schools to voice concerns, make suggestions for further discussions, and even potentially initiate proposals that could be considered next year.

WSN will have full coverage throughout the day, including live updates from General Manager Travis Wilson on Twitter, where you can follow him at @travisWSN

While NIL has garnered the most attention, there are two other amendments that the association will vote on Wednesday.

The first would provide more opportunities for high school coaches to provide programming and instruction during the school year but outside the sports season via camps and clinics.

The second proposed amendment would allow limited, specific use of video replay for schools to appeal ejections and subsequent suspensions due to misidentification of the offending athlete. If a school appeals and provides video evidence that the wrong player was ejected, the one-game suspension can be repealed by WIAA Executive staff. The language does NOT allow schools to appeal whether the player committed an act that should have led to ejection.

For all Constitutional Amendments, a simple majority of schools in attendance would need to vote in the affirmative for the measure to pass.

Name, Image, and Likeness draws significant discussion

Name, Image, and Likeness has been a hot button topic at the collegiate level the last couple years, and at least 30 states have some form of NIL at the high school level. The proposal up for vote would allow athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness, though there would be limitations and guidelines that the WIAA hopes would prevent the widespread issues that have plagued college athletics.

The association has discussed the topic for several years, and seen numerous states add it at the high school level recently, whether by choice or legislative action. Bordering states Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota have instituted NIL opportunities for high school athletes, and Michigan is also considering it.

While college athletics has much more open rules regarding NIL, there would be more safeguards under the WIAA proposal to avoid manipulation and abuse.

The language reads as:

C. An athlete forfeits amateur status in a sport by capitalizing on athletic fame by receiving money, compensation, endorse-
ments or gifts of monetary value in affiliation or connection with activities involving the student’s school team, school, Conference or WIAA (scholarships to institutions of higher learning are specifically exempted).

1) This provision is not intended to restrict the right of any student to participate in a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL)
commercial endorsement provided there is no school team, school, conference or WIAA affiliation.
2) Prohibited NIL Activities:

a. The student shall not appear in the uniform of the student’s school and does not utilize the marks, logos, etc. of the school team, school, conference or WIAA as part of any endorsement.

b. The student shall 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; weapons (i.e. firearms).

c. The compensation is not contingent on specific athletic performance or achievement (ie. financial incentives based on points scored).

d. The compensation is commensurate with market value.

e. The compensation is not provided by the school or persons associated with school as an inducement to attend a particular school (“recruiting”) or to remain enrolled at a particular school.

Note: Definition of ‘persons associated with school’ include, but are not limited to: current or former coaches, current or former athletes, parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver of current or former student/athletes (exception of one’s own parent), booster club members, alumni, spouses or relatives of coaches, teachers and other employees, coaches who become employed, active applicants for coaching positions, and persons who are employed by companies or organizations that have donated monetarily, athletic supplies, equipment or apparel to that

f. The NIL activities do not interfere with a student-athlete’s academic obligations.

g. A student does not miss athletic practice, competition, travel, or other team obligations in order to participate in NIL opportunities.

h. A student cannot utilize representation or contract an agent. High schools, their employees or persons associated with school are not allowed to help facilitate deals for student-athletes.

It is important to note that under these guidelines, if approved, student-athletes could not appear in endorsements or advertising in their school jersey or wearing school apparel.

Also, students could not receive NIL or endorsement as an inducement to attend or remain enrolled in a particular school.

An important component of Letter E, which addresses recruiting as it relates to NIL, clarifies that coaches, alumni, or companies that have donated to a school or booster club cannot provide NIL to an athlete.

The WIAA guidelines, which were modeled after NFHS recommendations and those instituted in other states, would not allow for NIL agents or representation.

For in-depth discussion of the WIAA Annual Meeting, including loads of information on the specifics of the NIL proposal, the potential pitfalls, what the WIAA has seen in other states, and much more, listen in to our WSN Podcast interview with WIAA Associate Director Mel Dow below. Mel's interview starts at about the 11-minute mark, and the NIL discussion begins about the 24-minute mark.

About the Author

Travis Wilson serves as the General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball), inducted to the Richland Center High School Hall of Fame in 2023, and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.

Boys Basketball News

Tag(s): News  News Archive  BBB News  GBB News  News  News  News  News  Boys Track News  Girls Track News  News  News  Travis Wilson  WIAA  News  News  News