With PIAA approval of name, image, and likeness deals for high schoolers, concerns from Philly coaches

With PIAA approval of name, image, and likeness deals for high schoolers, concerns from Philly coaches

The PIAA Board of Directors conducted a final vote on Wednesday that allows high school athletes to formally commit to statewide name, image and likeness agreements, the district chairman said. 12, Mike Hawkins, in a telephone interview.

In the final vote, Hawkins said, it was determined that individuals who are not attorneys in good standing with the state bar association who wish to engage an athlete in a NIL deal must register as an attorney. agents with the State Athletic Commission. These agents must also receive the appropriate authorizations to work with children through the state police.

According to the PIAA website, certain industries and products are prohibited in NIL agreements with high school athletes, including adult entertainment products and services, alcohol, casinos and gambling, sports betting, tobacco and electronic smoking products and devices, opioids and prescription pharmaceuticals, weapons, firearms and ammunition, among others. Additionally, within 72 hours of reaching an agreement, athletes must notify their school’s principal or athletic director, who must then follow certain protocols.

Athletes are also prohibited from wearing NIL partner logos during team activities and may not reference any PIAA member school in connection with NIL activities. NIL offers may also not be used as an inducement for enrollment decisions or team membership, nor may anyone affiliated with a member school solicit or negotiate a student’s use of NIL. A complete list of approved and prohibited actions is available on the PIAA website.

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In the days leading up to Wednesday’s meeting, The Inquirer spoke to several coaches about their reactions to NIL’s developments.

Neumann Goretti’s football coach, Albie Crosby, was concerned about the physical safety of young Philadelphia athletes. Imhotep Charter boys’ basketball coach Andre Noble had similar concerns but sees himself as a supporter of the NIL agreements. Carl Arrigale, the Neumann Goretti boys’ basketball coach who has won the most Catholic League championships in history, worried about how NIL might shape the landscape of local high school sports.

green eyed monster

Crosby has helped many football players reach different levels of college football since becoming head coach at Imhotep in 2012. The West Philly native also served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, West Catholic, for 11 seasons . He spent two years coaching running backs when La Salle University had a football program.

He knows Philly well, even the new generation, who no longer seem to abide by the unwritten rule that athletes are ‘off limits’.

“Yeah,” Crosby said, “I think often [now] the athletes are the guys who are the targets.

As early as the 1950s, and possibly earlier, athletes, especially those whom the townspeople believed had a chance of succeeding, were protected from trouble: fights, gun violence, robberies, etc.

A coach, who played varsity sports in the city in the 1990s, said as a varsity athlete he was once advised to quit an outdoor sporting event because an elder in the crowd knew that a fight was likely to occur.

The coaches offered various theories as to why the change occurred. Some believe it’s because the old or “old bosses”, who were once highly respected throughout the city, either no longer exist or have been replaced by younger, more impulsive leaders. Others believe that jealousy is at the heart.

Whatever the reason, Crosby worries that more money — or the perception of more money — will bring more trouble.

“Because I think it puts another target on our children’s backs,” he said. “Once it’s made public that a guy got a ZERO deal, people might not understand what the deal might look like.”

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Crosby, who also leads the nationally respected seven-on-seven team known as the Playmakers and has been affiliated with sportswear companies, said the deals can be misleading to the public.

A NIL deal worth $50,000, he said, could include just $5,000 in cash and the rest in products.

“Then all of a sudden people are staring [the athlete] because they think he got $50,000,” Crosby said. “So he becomes a target.”

Crosby added that he is a fan of young people earning money and wants to know more about the NIL agreements.

knowledge is power

Courtney Altemus can help.

Altemus is the founding and managing partner of Advance, a company that provides NIL training to several NCAA member schools and conferences, and now PIAA.

“The key is to educate yourself,” Altemus said in a recent phone interview.

The knowledge could help address another of Crosby’s concerns, particularly what he sees as a move towards a “microwave society,” in which children and adults want things faster than ever.

Altemus, who has spent nearly 25 years working on Wall Street, often advises parents and athletes against chasing such speed.

“What I tell everyone,” she said, “is that there is nothing at this point in their life that is more important than school or their sport. There is no deal that is going to have a positive impact on them for the rest of their lives that they might miss. … The practice of slowing down is an important thing that we talk about.

At the college level, Altemus heard horror stories of athletes signing contracts that gave their name, image and likeness away in perpetuity.

Advance offers financial literacy type courses. A free one, she said, was made in conjunction with the National Federation of State High School Associations.

At the high school level, Altemus urges parents to be the first line of defense, asking questions, requesting background checks and looking for red flags.

One such signal, she said, would be for a potential rep to constantly sell out without asking about the athlete’s goals. In order to achieve a client’s goals, she says, an agent must get to know the athlete.

Altemus does not know how many high school athletes will order NIL offerings. Many factors, she said, will determine that calculation.

At the college level, however, she said some of the most successful results have come from athletes who leveraged another skill in addition to their athletic prowess.

For example, Ra’sun Kazadi was a defensive back at SMU. Now he’s a successful artist, thanks in part to his ability to secure NIL contracts.

With the new

Opportunities similar to those won by Kazadi are probably what intrigues Noble Imhotep the most.

Noble expressed concern that “the powers that be” seem more concerned about the potential consequences when new groups of people are given the opportunity to receive compensation.

“It worries me especially when it comes to minority student-athletes [and then] a bunch of these questions are starting to come up,” said Noble, who has won 10 Public League titles since 2004. “So I’m definitely a fan of [NIL]. I think this is a great opportunity for student-athletes, and I really will always support student-athletes.

In November, Imhotep, of which Noble is also the athletic director, held a seminar aimed at educating athletes about the NIL and its various challenges. Justin Edwards of Imhotep, currently ESPN No. 1 in the nation and a Kentucky basketball signing, was also part of the roundtable.

READ MORE: Imhotep’s Justin Edwards is the new No. 1 on ESPN’s basketball recruiting rankings

Philadelphia City Council member Isaiah Thomas, who also coaches basketball at Sankofa Freedom Academy.

Also in November, Thomas introduced the Philly NIL Youth Protection Act, which aims to “provide financial literacy and consumer protection to young athletes with potential NIL deals.”

The law would provide educational materials about NIL offers to students and their families, including the likelihood of receiving an offer, the benefits and risks, and guidance on the different types of offers. The bill would also create the Philly NIL Youth Protection Fund, which would “equip families of students with potential NIL contracts with a city-approved attorney and/or accountant to help them navigate and negotiate those contracts.” .

“By placing financial education and consumer protection at the forefront of these agreements,” Thomas said in a statement, “Philly sends the message that you can play, work and grow here. Professional teams and Philly fans have a moment – ​​this bill will ensure that moment extends to the next generation of Philly leaders.

Run-off effects

Arrigale, who won a record 11th PCL championship last season, has seen a lot since taking over the Saints’ basketball program in 1999.

Like other coaches, he said he was happy that the athletes could reap financial rewards for their talents. He wonders, however, whether the NIL agreements could lead local actors to change schools for financial reasons, although PIAA rules prohibit such a motivation.

“You might see kids leaving their neighborhood school to play somewhere else, like [private schools in Florida],” he said.

Crosby expressed similar concerns about schools with means and opportunities leaving those without such privileges even further behind.

He added that college coaches have warned him about fights and jealousy that can arise between teammates over NIL deals.

Northeast High athletic director Phil Gormley, once a longtime Vikings football coach, said he was recently warned by a college coach that some problems could be heading to high schools.

“What they see at the college level is on its way to high schools,” Gormley said. “Similar to the college level, it’s not a level playing field. Some schools spend a lot of money and some don’t. Private schools have more money than non-private schools. When you have access to people who have money, that’s what can happen.

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