Local student-athlete paves way for other high schoolers to profit off NIL deals

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — High schoolers could soon get paid to play in sports.


On Tuesday, the Florida High School Athletic Association voted unanimously to allow high school athletes to cash in on their Name, Image, and Likeness or NIL. Official approval by the State Board of Education will go to a vote on July 24.

This means a business, restaurant, or brand could offer a student payment or a product based on an NIL deal.

The board president says she believes this is “a very good starting point.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Florida High School Athletic Association approves NIL compensation for student-athletes

“Yes, this is new territory for the state of Florida, so there is going to be hesitation -- we’re going to feel nervous, but I do really believe that this is going to set us on par with the rest of the country,” FHSAA Board of Directors President Monica Colucci said.

With this vote, Florida could soon join the 30 other states that have allowed high school athletes to receive NIL money.

During today’s meeting, a school board member referenced a local student in St. Johns County - Bartram Trail High School lacrosse player Ryann Frechette.

“I definitely wasn’t really expecting it,” Frechette said. “But I was just so excited, and I hope I brought light to that situation.”

She missed out on an NIL deal while she was in school and her father sent a letter for an appeal three separate times, but she was denied.

RELATED: Bartram Trail High School girls lacrosse player denied NIL opportunity

Frechette was expected to make nearly $5,000 including equipment from a company. But Frechette said she’s happy to now have helped pave the way for others.

“My goal is just to make it possible for boys and girls younger than me to have the experience of receiving NIL because other states have it and it can just make it so much more competitive for all athletes,” Frechette said.

Under the new policy, students and parents can negotiate a deal, but it must be independent of their school and district.

“I’ve received at least two dozen calls from coaches across the state today that are upset,” Florida Coaches Coalition Executive Director Andrew Ramjit said.  “We’re not against student-athletes making money off their name, image or likeness, however, at $5,000, they’re already making off one deal more than their coaches for the entire school year, which is bizarre.”

RELATED: QB Jaden Rashada sues Florida coach Billy Napier, booster over NIL ‘false promises’

Ramjit says coaches in Florida are not happy about this since they make an average of about $3,500 a year. They are paid on a supplement system in addition to their teaching salaries.

“The average coach works in excess of 1,200 hours each school year,” Ramjit said. “After taxes, it breaks down to about $2.50 that coaches are making per hour pay.

Some social media posts show local athlete, Jaime Ffrench may have an NIL deal with American Eagle, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Again, this is not set in stone until the state board of education ratifies the decision.

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