COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Less than a year ago, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 187 into law allowing college athletes to profit off their name, image, likeness. Now, NIL may be coming to high school athletes in Ohio.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association is voting next month on a resolution that would allow high school athletes to take advantage of NIL opportunities.

The OHSAA has an open vote session for this issue, and several other items starting, May 1 and running through May 15. If passed, it would allow student athletes to sign endorsement deals as soon as May 16.

“Me being a high school athlete and me seeing it can actually happen to me is a blessing,” said Tayvion Galloway, the No. 1 tight end in Ohio for the class of 2024.

Galloway is just one of several thousand Ohio athletes who would benefit from NIL if the OHSAA gives it the green light next month.

“I think they should definitely consider how it would help out people with lower income families,” he said. “[Athletes] could help out toward their families . . . that’s what I would do with it, help out my mom, my auntie just my family.”

Gahanna defensive end Kamari Burns has more than a dozen offers, including Cincinnati and Michigan.
He says NIL would allow him to focus on what’s important.

“Right now I don’t have a job personally. I’m just focused on school and getting on the right path for myself,” Burns said. “In the near future like my junior year of college, I feel like I’ll be a master at [NIL].”

But not everybody is for NIL at the high school level.

“If they pass it and they get paid, good for them!” former Buckeye and NFL player Tyvis Powell said. “But I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Born and raised in Ohio, Powell spent three years at Ohio State and three years in the NFL. He says a lack of competition is just one of many ways NIL would have a negative impact.

“I think it would make kids transfer to places like St. Ed[ward] or anyplace that got open enrollment,” he said. “Those teams will become more stacked with the hopes of kids trying to get exposure so they can get more money.”

But Galloway thinks being at a smaller school, like Chillicothe, would actually be an advantage.

“Me being one of the few people like me in my small town, I think that would be a great thing,” he said. “All the small businesses would love to support me and then even still bigger cities would still like to get a hold of me, not just me specifically but other guys in small towns doing big things.”

Powell also said athletes will need to learn how to pay taxes and figure out what’s right for their brand, but is worried because they don’t have the same resources that colleges and universities provide to help student athletes navigate NIL.