High School Athletes to Profit Off Name, Image and Likeness in Virginia


Tane Jeffs, Staff Reporter

The Virginia High School League is allowing high school athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness (NIL), which will go into effect on July 1, 2023. Virginia is the second state with a High School Athletic Association to approve an NIL policy change.

NIL contracts/agreements need to come from analysis of the value an athlete brings for providing a specific service/activity, not as an incentive for enrollment decisions or membership on a team.


NIL Activities allows athletes to appear in commercials, act as a social media influencer, endorse products and have autograph sessions. Students can have merchandise or apparel sales; however, they may not profit off of the schools’ name, uniform, mascot, and logo.

The sports jersey or uniform a student wears will not have any sponsored logos. Schools and teams are not permitted to incentivize students to enroll at a school or join their team.

Their justification was from the Supreme Court decision National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston in 2021, which ruled that the NCAA limits education benefits for students violated federal antitrust laws. After going through college, the ruling is expanding opportunities for high school students.

The VHSL will work to guide students and clarify how to earn financial gain while also keeping athletic eligibility. While there are not many NIL opportunities for high schoolers today, with the growing influence of social media, student athletes will profit from their popularity in the future.