Alabama Proposes Bill Allowing High School Athletes to Profit from Their Image

An Alabama lawmaker has introduced a bill that would permit high school athletes to earn money from their image.

Rep. Jeremy Gray, D-Opelika, is sponsoring the legislation, known as HB25. The bill focuses on name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights for high school athletes. However, it includes certain restrictions, such as prohibiting the use of school logos, names, mascots, or trademarked logos associated with athletic associations.

In an interview on Monday, Gray stated, “Because it’s already happening on a college level and what better way to get kids trained to the mindset of NIL by starting in high school.”

Alabama already has a state law regarding name, image, and likeness rights for student-athletes. The law was revised in 2022 to align it more with the NCAA’s regulations. According to NCSA Recruiting, college athletes are allowed to profit from their image, name, and likeness under NCAA NIL, which includes activities like merchandising, signing autographs, and conducting camps and clinics.

According to The Hill, over 30 states and Washington, D.C. have enacted legislation that permits high school students to monetize their image.

Gray’s bill states that no student athlete in Alabama should be prohibited from receiving compensation for the use of their name, image, or likeness.

Gray, who played football at North Carolina State, believes it is unfair that schools can profit from athletes while the athletes themselves cannot. He also mentioned the unpredictability of athletic careers as a reason for the bill. Gray said, “We may not make it to the NFL, NBA, WNBA, but a lot of athletes are training their entire lives for a moment where they can get actually compensated for their skills and talents.”

Ron Ingram, spokesperson for the Alabama High School Athletic Association, did not provide comments on the matter this week.

Gray also aims to bring Alabama in line with other states that have NIL laws for high school students. He expressed the importance of monetization for student-athletes, whether in high school, college, or the NFL, as they often miss out on opportunities to capitalize on their skills and talents while others profit from them.

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