BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) announced a partnership today with a company that would allow student-athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL).
The group said it approved a “positioning statement for its bylaws” and is partnering with Eccker Sports “to provide educational services and resources to help high school leadership and students navigate the challenges that NIL contracts are bringing to high school sports.”
The positioning statement reads as follows:
LHSAA bylaws do not prohibit student-athletes from engaging in certain commercial activities in their individual capacities. These activities, generally referred to as Name, Image and likeness (NIL), will not jeopardize a student athlete’s amateur status if the student-athlete complies with LlISAA Bylaw 1.25 on “Maintaining Amateur Status” as well as all LHSAA Bylaws, policies, and regulations. Compliance with lliSAA Bylaws regarding NIL does not ensure maintenance of eligibility under the eligibility standards of other governing athletic organizations (e.g. NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, national sport governing bodies, etc.). Student-athletes desiring information on the amateur rules of other governing organizations should consult with those organizations.Louisiana High School Athletic Association press release.
Principals and athletic directors will be required to take courses to become familiar with the process, while the LHSAA said resources would also be available for coaches, athletes and family members.
The partnership with Eccker is being undertaken in an attempt to make sure that student-athletes and their families have education and resources available to navigate NIL, according to LHSAA officials.
“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. “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.”
In 2021, the NCAA kicked the door open for NIL commitments for the first time, revolutionizing the student sports landscape. While the NCAA is able to regulate the issue for collegiate athletes, high school systems do not have a single governing body nationwide to provide similar regulations for students.
LHSAA officials said Eccker, which has a 60-year history in sports, will roll out a video curriculum starting May 1. A “resource hub” will also be established, and a “Coach Assist” portal will also be available. Eccker is also expected to provide “a network of legal, financial and tax experts to help families build and execute an effective NIL strategy.”
You can read the LHSAA’s press release in its entirety below.