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Idaho High School Activities Association Adopts Rule Change to Permit NIL for High School Athletes

Updated: Jul 20, 2022

Idaho is the latest state to permit NIL for high school athletes.

The Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA) has released its rule changes for 2022‑2023. Among those changes, is a rule change to Rule 8-4-1, "Amateur Status." The rule change, as copied below, provides that high school athletes will not be restricted from participating in a commercial endorsement (i.e., NIL deal) provided there is no school team, school, league, district or IHSAA affiliation.

This rule change now permits Idaho high school athletes to profit off their NIL without losing their amateur status. Interestingly, the rule change does not initially appear to include typical restrictions implemented by other state high school athletic associations that have adopted NIL policies, such as restrictions on use of school marks and prohibitions of endorsements in vice categories (e.g., tobacco, drugs, alcohol, gambling, firearms, etc.) but this could change in the future.

Idaho joins a growing list of states that permit high school athletes to profit off their NIL. That list now includes the following states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, and Utah. Other high school state athletic associations are evaluating or in the process of adopting rule changes or policies to permit high school athletes to profit off their NIL, such as the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association which recently approved on first reading a NIL policy.

The full set of the IHSAA rule changes for 2022-2023 are available here.

Ryan Whelpley is an Associate at Morse in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he is a member of the firm’s Corporate practice group and focuses on venture capital financings, M&A transactions, and general corporate work for start-up and emerging growth companies. He is a graduate of Albany Law School (2019) and Union College (2016). At Union, Ryan was a member and three-year captain of the Men’s Basketball Team. You can connect with him via Twitter (@Whelpley_Law) and LinkedIn.

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