COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio high school athletes will not be able to get paid for their name, image and likeness after high school principals across the state voted down the referendum.

The vote failed 538-254, per a release from the Ohio High School Athletics Association.

It’s a democratic process. Obviously it got voted way down and I like it the way it is,” Reynoldsburg athletic director and girls basketball coach Jack Purtell said. “Our principals still run the show. I think they have kids’ best interests at heart and what’s best for everybody and I’m good with that.”

By rejecting the proposal, Ohio’s student-athletes remain unable sign endorsement deals without losing their amateur status.

“I don’t know if we totally understood what it was going to be but more importantly . . . I don’t know if we understood what the purpose was going to be for high school children,” Bishop Hartley athletic director and football coach Brad Burchfield said.

The referendum for NIL in Ohio high school athletics was introduced on April 5 by the OHSAA. 813 of the OHSAA’s 817 member high schools casted a ballot.

“If NIL is going to enter the Ohio interscholastic landscape, we want the schools to be the ones to make that determination,” OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute said. “Whatever we do moving forward, it will include discussion on this issue with our school administrators, board of directors, staff and leaders of other state high school athletic associations.”

Chillicothe’s Tayvion Galloway, the No. 1 rated tight end in Ohio for the class of 2024, said he’s not surprised NIL didn’t get passed.

“I was hoping that it would go through but it’s not a big worry to me,” Galloway said. “I’m just going to continue to keep playing football and keep grinding till I get to college.”

If it passed, Ohio would have become the 10th state to allow NIL for high school athletes.

States with NIL

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Utah

“I wouldn’t be surprised if certain athletes migrate to other places just for the NIL aspect, but to me that’s not something that I’ll worry about and that’s not something that I’ll do,” Galloway said.

The proposed addition would have allowed student-athletes to sign endorsement agreements as long as their teams, schools and/or the OHSAA logo are not used. Deals that do not support the mission of education-based athletics (casinos, gambling, alcohol, drugs, tobacco) would also not be permitted.