A new bill filed in the Arkansas House of Representatives would amend the state’s name, image, and likeness (NIL) law to allow certain high school athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness.
Under the state’s current law, only athletes enrolled at a college or university can enter into NIL deals. If the new bill passes, high school athletes will be able to enter into NIL deals, provided the athlete has been admitted, signed a National Letter of Intent, or signed another agreement to enroll in an institution of higher education.
To keep Arkansas institutions a step ahead of schools outside the state, legislators added a provision authorizing an institution’s athletic foundation to facilitate or create NIL deals for an athlete, including a high school athlete.
Interestingly, there was a growing trend of southern states repealing NIL laws to keep in-state schools at the forefront of NIL, including Florida and Alabama. If the bill passes, Arkansas legislators are taking a different approach and will join over 20 states that allow high school athletes to enter into NIL deals.
As the NCAA’s NIL policy continues to evolve, expect states to adjust to new ideas to keep their in-state universities ahead of the changes.