September 18, 2021  Members Only

SUBSCRIBER-ONLY VIDEO: Behind the story, Missy Heidrick shares exclusive NIL reporting

The impact we will see with high school student-athletes

For decades, student-athletes have sat in meetings with the “rules police” (athletic department compliance staff) and been given strict instructions to what you can and mostly cannot do.  Being a Division I student-athlete came with restrictions set by the NCAA which has always been tasked with governing its membership, protecting amateurism and setting the standard so all programs are on equal footing, where performance on the field or the court would be the deciding factor.

In the early 2000’s, the voices of student-athletes became part of the conversation and they started to ask why they were not being allowed to make money in a billion-dollar industry that was making money off their names and images?  State governments began to craft legislation to allow for student-athletes to capitalize on their name, image and likeness and Washington DC took notice and interest too.  

Fast forward to July 2021 when the world of college athletics changed and (NIL) became a part of the everyday conversation, whether we were ready for it or not.  With two basic guidelines set by the NCAA (no pay to play and NIL deals cannot be recruiting enhancements), schools across the country were tasked with creating their own rules.  We’ve seen blockbuster deals and announcements made for female and male student-athletes.  We see household names in women’s college basketball sign with agencies to manage their NIL opportunities, now and in the future and entire teams sign agreements as well.

The trickle-down effect now has made its way in a very short time to high school student-athletes.  With the change in NCAA rules, if a student-athlete has a NIL deal as a high schooler, they will be eligible to compete when they get to college.  That was not the case before. What’s the impact?  And what will happen going forward?  

Written by Missy Heidrick

I am a former shooting guard at Kansas State and spent almost 20 years working in Higher Education and Division 1 athletics. I am currently a basketball analyst for television and radio, contributing correspondent at The Next and run my own consulting business. I am a proud mother of two and wife to a patient husband who is almost as big of a sports junkie as I am!

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