Alabama Bill Would Allow High School Athletes to Make Money Off of Their Image

Lawmaker’s bill could allow high school athletes to make money.

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An Alabama state representative has filed a bill that would allow high school athletes to make money off of their image.

The legislation, HB25, sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Gray, D-Opelika, would be a name, image and likeness (NIL) bill for high school athletes. The bill is limited to the athlete and does not allow the use of “marks, including a school logo, school name, school mascot, or trademarked logo or acronym of an athletic association,” alongside some other restrictions.

“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,” Gray said in an interview on Monday.

Alabama has had a state name, image and likeness law since 2021, one that was revised in 2022 after it was deemed stricter than the NCAA’s later regulations. The NCAA allows college athletes are allowed to profit from their image, name and likeness under NCAA NIL, according to NCSA Recruiting, ranging from the use of merchandise to autographs to running camps and clinics.

According to The Hill, at least 30 states and Washington, D.C. have legislation that allows high school students to make money off of their image.

Gray’s bill says that no student athletes in the state “shall be prevented from receiving compensation for the use of his or her name, image, or likeness.”

Gray, who played football at North Carolina State, said he doesn’t think it’s fair that schools, but not the athletes, are allowed to make money off of athletes. One reason for the bill, he said, is the difficulty in predicting how long an athletic career might last.

“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,” he said.

Ron Ingram, a spokesman for the Alabama High School Athletic Association, said no one from AHSAA was available to comment this week.

Gray also said he wants to put Alabama on a level playing field with other state that have NIL laws for high school students.

“Monetization is important to me when it comes to student athletes, and especially on any level of high school, college or in the NFL because so many people are making money off the athletes and they’re not being able to capitalize on those opportunities, their sales, so this bill just really came from the premises of other states are doing it and we just need to move towards that,” he said.

Alabama Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Alabama Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Brian Lyman for questions: info@alabamareflector.com. Follow Alabama Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

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