Home Local Sports Pay Day: NCHSAA approves NIL deals for high school student-athletes

Pay Day: NCHSAA approves NIL deals for high school student-athletes

NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker addresses the media during a press conference on Wednesday. (Screenshot of Zoom)

CHAPEL HILL — The landscape of high school sports across the state could make a dramatic shift following the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors spring meeting on Tuesday.

One of the many key decisions made by the Board was to allow high school student-athletes in North Carolina to benefit financially from name, image and likeness (NIL) deals.

The new policy passed by a vote of 15-3 and will go into effect on July 1, 2023, and apply to the NCHSAA’s member schools, which include traditional and charter high schools.

In addition, the NCHSAA noted in a press release that it voted to “amend the language in the Amateur Rule to reflect monies that may now be accepted by student-athletes through NIL.”

BusinessOfCollegeSports.com tracks which states across the country allow high school NIL deals, and according to its list last updated on April 10, North Carolina became the 28th to approve them.

The three most recent states to approve NIL have been Washington, Utah and Tennessee, the latter being the closest state geographically to North Carolina to allow it.

Before making a monetary deal, the NCHSAA will require student-athletes to complete an annual education course on NIL produced by the National Federation of High School Associations prior to the season’s first contest. 

Also responsible for taking the course will be coaches, athletic directors, principals and parents or guardians.

HighSchoolOT’s managing editor Nick Stevens tweeted that the NCHSAA’s NIL committee “learned through research that the average NIL deal for high school athletes in other states is between $60-$120.”

The NCHSAA said in the press release that student-athletes “may publicize their name, image and likeness through appearances, athlete-owned brands, autographs, camps and clinics, group licensing, in-kind deals, instruction, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), product endorsements, promotional activities and social media.”

Limits will be in place to prohibit NIL deals with certain areas of entertainment and marketing.

Those are “products including adult entertainment, alcohol, cannabis products, controlled substances, firearms and ammunition, gambling, prescription pharmaceuticals and tobacco, vaping or other nicotine related products.”


The press release also stated that “athletes are also prohibited from affiliating with member schools, conferences, PSU, NCHSAA or NFHS” when making an NIL deal.

To answer the question many are asking about the potential impact on student-athletes becoming part of a transfer portal, the NCHSAA said, “School personnel cannot use NIL as a means for recruitment or enrollment and cannot facilitate deals or act as an agent or marketing representative.”

Final Four format approved for basketball

The NCHSAA Board of Directors also unanimously voted to approve a new playoff format for boys’ and girls’ basketball, which will be put into place during the upcoming 2023-24 season.

The change comes in part after the NCHSAA opted to use high school venues for the regional championship games in March. 

Limited space and selling tickets that allowed spectators entry to all games created issues for fans across the state, including Richmond Senior High School’s regional championship win against Holly Springs High School.

With the new Final Four implementation, all of the regional and state championships will be held at a single venue. 

The proposed plan is to host the games over a six-day period, with the state title games to be played on a Friday and Saturday.

No specifics were given by the NCHSAA as to which venues were being considered for the Final Four.

Another vote on Tuesday saw the Board of Directors approve an ad hoc committee to “investigate the financial and operational costs of adopting a 35-second shot clock.”

This is a developing story. The Richmond Observer will publish a future article with reactions from Richmond Senior High School student-athletes, coaches and administrators.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.