NewsLocal NewsMichigan


Michigan lawmakers, MHSAA working to allow NIL deals for high school student-athletes

State Rep. Jimmie Wilson Jr., among others, has been working with the Michigan High School Athletics Association to support high school student-athletes making money off their name, image & likeness
MHSAA completes all three sports despite pandemic
Posted at 4:25 PM, Oct 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-20 18:39:17-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — High school athletes in Michigan are one step closer to making money off their name, image and likeness (NIL).

Michigan lawmakers, MHSAA working to allow NIL deals for high school student-athletes

By now, you likely know about the NIL deals at the college level. This version is a little different, and would come with restrictions.

Rep. Jimmie Wilson Jr. (D-Ypsilanti) first approached the Michigan High School Athletics Association (MHSAA) with the idea behind HB 4816 in June.

“Representative Wilson was very receptive to our ideas and what we felt most strongly about, in terms of what would be workable in the framework of high school athletics and what would not be," Geoff Kimmerly, the Communications Director for the MHSAA explained.

As of now, 31 other states already allow these types of NIL deals for high school athletes, according to Opendorse. Now, Michigan might follow suit.

NIL High School map

Rep. Wilson said, "a couple of the families actually had been considering moving potentially out of state because they're at such a high level athletics. They know that other states are already doing it. So they're now paused, because they said, 'Well, if you get this here in Michigan, we'll probably end up staying here.'"

He added, "as the as the Governor's office, and the Legislature, starts to talk about retention of talent, and talking about trying to get more people to Michigan. This is just a small piece, but it's another piece to that puzzle of retaining talent here."

Kimmerly estimated there are about 180,000 high school athletes in Michigan, but said only about 20-25 of them will get some kind of NIL opportunity.

For the most part, Kimmerly said those opportunities will come to student-athletes who have a large following on social media— things like brand deals and commercial sponsorships.

Still, there's a long list of rules that must be followed:

NIL Restrictions HB 4816

“Keep in mind, we do not have the millions and millions and millions of dollars flowing through athletics at the high school sports level, as the NCAA does," Kimmerly said. "That's what makes our NIL situation here much, much different.”

Continuing, he said, "that pie does not exist at the high school sports level, where, you know, our coaches are making less than $1 an hour, basically, and our athletic directors live at their schools, and our officials, you know, are doing this for the love of the game.”

At the bottom line, Kimmerly says this is about creating individual opportunities for individual players.

The bill passed in the Michigan House of Representatives on Thursday. Now, it heads to the Michigan Senate.

Follow FOX 17: Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube