(Koki Riley – The Daily Advertiser) The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) approved a “positioning statement” permitting athletes to financially profit from their name, image and likeness in an executive committee meeting Thursday.
The LHSAA will partner with Eccker Sports, a company that assists high schools and student-athletes with navigating the NIL landscape. Eccker Sports would provide “educational services and resources” to schools statewide.
“As an education-based association, I think it is imperative that everyone associated with high school athletics in Louisiana is properly educated and informed on Name, Image, and Likeness,” said Eddie Bonine, Executive Director of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, in a statement released Thursday . “There is a lot to NIL and it’s a moving target that we need to stay on top of. I am honored that Eccker Sports, with all their experience and everything they have to offer, has chosen to launch with us. The educational programming and toolbox they provide is going to be very valuable to all the individuals who participate in this and will benefit our students throughout the state.”
Principals and athletic directors will be required to take NIL courses provided by Eccker Sports. Coaches, athletes and parents will also have access to the courses.
The first NIL course will be launched on May 1 and will contain a six-part video curriculum that will “educate users on the history of NIL, key terms and concepts, and best practices.” Other courses will be available soon after.
Additionally, Eccker will provide a Resource Hub for users to find up-to-date information on NIL throughout the country. Coaches will also be supplied with “Coach Assist” an online tool from Eccker that will have “NIL presentation templates, one pagers and other tools to help them educate their communities.”
And finally, Eccker will be constructing a “network of legal, financial and tax experts” to help families navigate the NIL landscape.
“Our goal is to guide, inform and protect high school students and their families to help them thrive on their NIL journey,” Eccker Sports CEO and Founder Randy Eccker said in the statement. “By taking a proactive, impartial, and non-exploitive approach, we believe coaches, administrators, student-athletes, and their parents will be in a much better position to avoid trouble and succeed in this rapidly changing arena.
“We are proud to partner with the LHSAA and are eager to bring these important resources to the entire state of Louisiana.”
High school athletic associations in Alaska, California, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, New York and New Jersey have already permitted student-athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness. Ohio will be voting on a proposal in May that would allow their athletes to do the same.
Twenty-six states prohibit students from profiting off their name, image and likeness, and 16 states are in the process of examining new legislation on the subject.
“We are proud that this Positioning Statement on NIL has passed our Executive Committee because it’s the right thing to do for all high school student-athletes in Louisiana,” Bonine said. “NIL is a moving target, which makes ongoing education so important for our entire high school community.
“We are taking a whiteboard approach to this with Eccker Sports so that as new rules are established and things change from state to state, our members will always have the most current information available to properly guide our kids and their families. We want everyone to be prepared because even if you don’t have someone right now facing these challenges, you never know when you might, and we want everyone prepared when that time comes.”
Koki Riley is a recruiting and high school sports reporter for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at email@example.com.
To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE