NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — It is more than a mild tremor in Louisiana high school sports.
The LHSAA said late last week that it would not promote “Name, Image and Likeness.”
But, it has hired a firm to help educate the association on the process.
So, what does it mean for member schools? They are not sure, but the initial reaction is not good.
In a memo to more than 400 member schools, the association said it is not encouraging or promoting NIL.
Association executive director Eddie Bonine shared his comments on the matter via zoom.
“Education, not regulation,” he said. “We are educating our association about NIL. We are not regulating it.”
Friday Night Football co-host J.T. Curtis, who serves as the headmaster at John Curtis Christian, said he will encourage schools in District 9-5A, the so-called Catholic League, not to be a part of it.
“I hope like in a district like ours, we would make a unified statement that we will not participate in that, because we don’t think it is in the interest of the young men or young women, because it is not in the best interest of their development as a young person,” Curtis told WGNO Sports.
Coaches don’t understand how NIL doesn’t violate LHSAA Bylaw 1.25. It says a student who signs an athletic contract for any kind of payment shall be ineligible for further high school athletic participation in the LHSAA.
NIL would seem to be in direct violation of the LHSAA’s own bylaw.
“I know it is not real good at the level above us, so why would we think we would be able to do something that a multi-billion dollar corporation?,” questioned Brother Martin head baseball coach Jeff Lupo.
The transfer portal has brought free agency to college sports, and how high school coaches will have to be concerned about how those who are getting money interact with those in the locker room that do not.
When asked how Coach Curtis would handle the locker room in the wake of NIL, high school football’s second-winningest coach of all time said, “I don’t know.”
Two athletes are suing the Florida High School Athletic Association.
That association bars players from capitalizing on athletic fame.