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OHSAA votes against proposal that would have allowed high school athletes to profit off name, image and likeness

The proposal failed by a 538-254 margin.

OHIO, USA — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a story that originally aired on April 29, 2022.

High school athletes in Ohio will not be able to profit off of their name, image, and likeness, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced on Tuesday morning. 

The NIL proposal was struck down by a vote of 538 to 254 and would have made it so that high school athletes would have been able to make money through endorsements in a way similar to collegiate athletes have been able to since July 1, 2021.

“Every year, the referendum voting process shows that our member schools have a voice in this democratic process,” OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute said. “Our office was very pleased with the discussion and insights our schools expressed this spring as we met with them about each of the 14 proposals. If NIL is going to enter the Ohio interscholastic landscape, we want the schools to be the ones to make that determination. Whatever we do moving forward, it will include discussion on this issue with our school administrators, Board of Directors, staff and leaders of other state high school athletic associations.”

With the proposal rejected, should a high school student-athlete sign an endorsement deal, he or she would lose amateur status and be deemed ineligible to play OHSAA sports. 

The NIL proposal was not the only one to fail in this vote, as a proposal to add an exception to the Enrollment and Attendance Bylaw that would have permitted a student enrolled at a member public school that does not sponsor a team sport to potentially play that sport at a public school located in a bordering public school district also failed. That vote was much closer, failing by a narrow 406 to 393 vote. 

Of the 14 new proposals, those were the only two that failed. The 12 that passed include one on eligibility, three on transfer situations, and one on awards. 

For more information and the complete results of voting, visit https://www.ohsaa.org/School-Resources/referendum-voting

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