Come January 2023 the Texas Legislature is anticipated to bring to the floor a bill allowing high school athletes to receive endorsement deals for uses of their name, image and likeness.
In states like California and Louisiana, who have already adopted such policies, we have typically seen kids make a few thousand here and there from local auto dealers and mom and pop products. 5-Star California quarterback Nico Iamaleava reportedly has received one of the highest paying endorsement deals that is worth up to 8 million dollars.
Granted not every player in the state of Texas will be given such large sums of money, but in a free market system that is America, they can at least put themselves in the position to get the bag early and often with stellar play.
The Defender spoke with two of the most decorated coaches in Class 6A and Class 5A football to discuss their thoughts on the bill passing and what outcomes they believe could result.
FOR – Galena Park North Shore Head Football Coach Jon Kay
“On one hand I see it working with the NCAA. The kids deserve it. It is their name, it is their image and likeness, and it is what they have earned with their talent. Then on the other hand you wonder if kids that age are equipped to handle the kind of pressure that comes with having money in their pocket.”
“The reality of it is I don’t see it going anywhere soon especially with the passage of it in Louisiana in the Eastside of the Houston area where it is so easy for kids to head that way if they feel like it is the best opportunity for them and their families. So, as I coaches I think it is something we are going to have to embrace.”
“I think the Texas High School Coaches Association is doing a good job trying to stay in front of it by bringing educational platforms in front of us that are going to help us come to grips with what the rules are…It is an opportunity and a coachable moment that we are going to have to learn on the fly and just be there for our kids to make sure they have what they need.”
“I think our community understands the value of hard work. Our parents understand the value of earning their keep and I have nothing but confidence in all of our parents to understand that they are going to keep these kids level headed, they are going to work with us and we are going to work with them. Together we are going to find a way to get these kids on the same level when it comes to competing.”
“The beauty of high school athletics is that you can have differences in income, differences in resources, and differences in all kinds of stuff, but you step in between those white lines everything is equal. It’s time to go to work.”
AGAINST – Hightower Head Football Coach Cornelius Anthony
“I think nationwide they need to stop that in it’s tracks. Honestly I think whenever you add money in a situation like that it is going to destroy high school football as we know it.”
“At the high school level it would just be a way for people to exploit kids and their families that desperately need money.”
“It is bad enough as it is when kids and parents jump from school to school for athletic purposes to either play or try to create super teams. And now you are going to add money to the equation. It will destroy high school football.”
“In my opinion they haven’t even figured it out on the collegiate level. And now you want to bring it on the high school level?”
“So now you’re going to pay a kid hundreds of thousands of dollars or maybe even millions of dollars, and you don’t think that is going to affect a high school age kid as far as how they view their teammates and coaches who will probably make less money than them. It will destroy high school football as we know it.”