How GHSA NIL Actually Works


By: Charlie Moon news services

Special thanks to GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines for taking time from a busy week to discuss the GHSA NIL with me.

Recently, there were well-designed black boxes with a stern warning floating all over social media. GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines put out this message over the emergence of NIL “Clubs,” and how they were a clear violation.

Hines told me, “Charlie they’re basically jacked up Gofundme pages.”

The skinny? An adult starts a page and entices high school athletes to be a part of their Gofundme group. The athletes are paid a percentage…More on that later.

Do you remember when a couple of our national leaders tried to convince us there were Jewish space lasers? And many Americans actually believed that?

Now we’ve got GHSA and NIL …. where schools can pay 14- to 18-year-old highschool athletes.

Again, don’t believe it just because it’s on the Internet. Read it. Study it. Use your head.

“One conversation at a time, Charlie.” That’s what Dr. Hines told me this week, about an hour before he boarded his return flight home from Boston and a national convention of state high school league officials.

“Charlie,” said Dr. Hines. “When we first put this out, I had athletic directors calling and asking me how they were gonna pay their players. I had to reassure them of the basics of this thing and that there was absolutely no allowance for schools paying players.”

Knowing most wouldn’t understand the difference between the NCAA and GHSA versions of NIL, there was and still is, a huge hill to climb. No, not the kind of disproving the Jewish laser theory. If someone has to convince you of that, that’s a “you” problem.

Hines says, “Charlie, one conversation at a time. No matter how we rolled it out, folks were gonna think it was the college version. We’re clear. The GHSA NIL only allows for a kid to profit off of their own name, image and likeness. But it does not allow for that to be tied in any way, to a school or a team.”

So, what does that mean? If a business wants to compensate a player for promoting their business, that promotion cannot include anything tied to the player’s school. They can’t wear a jersey. They can’t say their school’s name. The school or team logo cannot appear.

And what does that look like? Dr. Hines told me. “Charlie, there’s a local breakfast place in Barnesville, GA that honors one athlete each week or month with a free meal. But if they take pictures or post it on social media, they can’t say anything about the school or the sport.”

What about these NIL Clubs? Hines says they’ve been popping up nationwide and it was a major point of discussion in Boston. They first began in New Jersey and recently, a few popped up in Georgia.

Hines says, “They were reported to us. Schools were contacted. They contacted the kids and the pages were immediately taken down. Some of the parents didn’t even know their kids were on these pages.”

Yes, you heard that right – adults secretly signing up high school athletes, without parental permission. It’s certainly not illegal per se. But all of it is definitely a GHSA rules violation.

It began with AAU basketball 40 years ago. Fast forward to now, where we’ve got everything from 7-8 year olds playing for weekend rings in all sports, to adults trying to skirt a rule for their Gofundme pages. The line between youth playing for the love of the game has been skewed.

Needless to say, Hines and GHSA stood their ground on drawing that line. They will not allow adults to cash-grab their to NIL Clubs, all in the hopes of a few extra dollars.

Of note: Schools must report any NIL deal. As of this week, there are only 47, less than .004% of all GHSA athletes.