05/24/2024
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CHAPEL HILL – The N.C. High School Athletic Association Board of Directors on Wednesday approved the adoption of Name, Image and Likeness procedures for student athletes among several items voted on as its spring meeting wrapped up.

Upon a recommendation from the Policy Committee and the Name, Image and Likeness Committee, the Board approved that beginning July 1 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.

However, student athletes will be prohibited from affiliating with member schools, conferences, PSU, NCHSAA or NFHS. For example, athletes could not wear school-affiliated gear with the school name or logo. 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.

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.

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 also voted 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 for the 2023-24 academic year, the Board voted to change the boys’ and girls’ 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 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.

Other items voted on by the board include:

• 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.

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