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Ohio high schools reject proposal allowing student athletes to sign endorsement deals

K.M. Klemencic
Flickr Creative Commons

Updated May 17, 2022, 3:50 P.M. ET

A proposal to allow Ohio high school student-athletes to make money off their name, image and likeness has been struck down.

The policy proposed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association would have allowed student-athletes to sign endorsement deals with companies, as long as their teams, schools or the OHSAA logo were not included.

Tuesday the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that a majority of the member school principals have voted against name, image and likeness opportunities for the state's prep athletes. The measure failed 538-254.

If it had passed it would have prohibited student athletes from signing deals with companies that do not support education-based athletics, such as casinos.

“Our process was that we went to six districts across Ohio and met with AEDs principals superintendents and how to have very good discussion and we appreciate that and you know we'll continue the discussion in the future and see how NIL unfolds across the country and go from there, “ said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute.

By rejecting the proposal, Ohio’s athletes remain unable sign endorsement deals without losing their amateur status.

“I think the letters NIL still scares people because you know some people feel that NIL is paying kids to play, “ Ute said.

The decision comes after a lengthy voting process that spanned more than two weeks and included input from school leaders statewide.

"I think you know part of that discussion and some things that I had heard from some of them it's still it's just too early, “ said Ute who was named to head the OHSAA in September 2020.

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Natasha Williams