May 15, 2024

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- – Members of the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) will vote on an amendment this month that would allow high school athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL), but with certain guidelines in place.

Currently, the bylaws of the SDHSAA say that any student who profits from the use of their name, picture or personal appearance in the promotion of a commercial or profit-making event as an athlete could lose their eligibility to compete.

SDHSAA Executive Director Dr. Daniel Swartos said he wouldn’t know how to define “as an athlete” under this rule. For example, a football player could make money streaming video games, but is he doing that as an athlete or as an individual?

“The ways that people and kids can make money now has changed quite a bit in the last 20, 25 years with social media and other things. It’s not just commercials and signing autographs and things like that. So, the lines get blurry really quickly.” said Swartos.

The amendment aims to put tighter guidelines on how an athlete can utilize NIL while still allowing them to tap into the potential earnings.

After two readings by the SDHSAA Board of Directors, the constitutional amendment will be voted on by the 180 member schools of the SDHSAA. The school boards have until May 31 to vote and if 60% of members approve, the amendment will go into effect on July 1.