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NCHSAA Board of Directors Meet, Approve NIL Deals, Among Others
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors completed its Spring Meeting Wednesday at the NCHSAA office and voted to approve several items that will positively impact student athletes across the state.
Upon a recommendation from the Policy Committee and the Name, Image and Likeness Committee, the Board of Directors approved the adoption of NIL procedures for student athletes. Effective July 1, 2023, student athletes may engage in certain commercial activities to receive tangible benefits. Under the new guidelines, 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.
School personnel cannot use NIL as a means for recruitment or enrollment and cannot facilitate deals or act as an agent or marketing representative. Student athletes, parents/legal guardians, coaches, athletic directors and principals must complete the NFHS Name, Image and Likeness Course annually prior to the first contest to participate in NIL practices. Student athletes are also prohibited from affiliating their NIL with certain products including adult entertainment, alcohol, cannabis products, controlled substances, firearms and ammunition, gambling, prescription pharmaceuticals and tobacco, vaping or other nicotine related products. Athletes are also prohibited from affiliating with member schools, conferences, PSU, NCHSAA or NFHS.
Subsequently, the Board of Directors voted to amend the language in the Amateur Rule to reflect monies that may now be accepted by student athletes through NIL.
“There were two words that were talked about often by our board as we considered the NIL policy and even prior to that as we had a committee working to bring a policy forward for consideration; those two words were opportunity and training,” NCHSAA President Rob Jackson said. “Certainly, we had a conversation around wanting to ensure our students have the opportunity to utilize their name, image and likeness because it is theirs and we don’t want to deny students opportunities before them. In fact, we want to give them every opportunity as we possibly can. That second piece, training, is extremely important. We have to train superintendents, we have to train principals, we have to train athletic directors and coaches but we also have to train parents because this is a new frontier for all of us.”
The NCHSAA will continue to provide information on this new rule through its website and will publish an FAQ.
The Board of Directors also voted on Wednesday to move forward with the creation of a Foundation for the purpose of further enhancing transparency between association annual operating revenues/expenses and endowment funds and to provide a perpetual resource for initiatives and membership programs.
Upon recommendation form the Endowment Advisory Committee the Board of Directors voted to approve a five percent distribution from the General Endowment fund and up to a five percent distribution from the Education, Health, Safety & Wellness Endowment Fund, or the actual amount needed to cover partial reimbursements fir member schools to achieve Honor Roll status and for administrators to receive CAA or CMAA certifications. These monies will add to the $19,249,538 that has been distributed to members schools over the last 10 years.
Effective July 1, 2023 for the 2023-24 Academic Year, the Board of Directors voted to change the men’s and women’s basketball playoff format so that the Regional Finals and the Championship games will be contested at a single site in a Final Four format. Also regarding basketball, the Board of Directors approved the Review and Officiating Committee’s recommendation to form an ad hoc committee to investigate the financial and operational costs of adopting a 35-second shot clock.
Other rule changes include the decision to approve mandatory bat testing for softball. The Sports Committee recommended instituting the bat testing procedures and the Finance and Personnel Committee recommended allocating $16,000 to purchase two testing machines for each region.
The Board of Directors also handled several other items of interest to member schools and stakeholders during the meeting. Board of Directors action included:
Approval of interview committee recommendations for swimming and diving regional supervisors and a basketball regional supervisor.
Approval of a pay increase for swimming and diving referees and stroke and turn judges, starters and diving judges.
Approval of the formation of an Officials Advisory Committee, under the auspices of the NCHSAA, to make recommendations to the Board of Directors
Approval of a game-ending rule for softball that would terminate a game when one team has a 15-run lead at the conclusion of three innings.
Approval of the requirement to utilize a conversion chart to determine qualification times and lane assignments for the Indoor State Track Championships.
Approval of the elimination of “tournament” language in the NCHSAA Handbook in baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer and softball to revert the season to a 24-game limit.
Approval of registration increase for participating in the Cheerleading Invitational from $25 to $35 per participant.