MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — An amendment to the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association's (TSSAA's) "amateur rule" passed Thursday will allow for Tennessee high school athletes to receive name, image and likeness (NIL) payments, under certain circumstances.
The ruling allows student-athletes to receive NIL payments "not related to performance" as long as those payments are not an endorsement of their school.
In addition, student-athletes can receive payments for lessons and instructional services while not in violation of the Amateur Rule, which previously defined student-athletes as those who "have never used, and is not using, their knowledge of their athletic skill in sports which [TSSAA] governs."
Violation of this rule is punishable by a 12-month suspension from TSSAA-sanctioned sports and activities.
Accepting money for officiating athletic events or for working as an employee in a city or county recreation program was already not violation of this rule.
The TSSAA Legislative Council met in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on Thursday, covering several administrative changes including the NIL ruling.
The Council voted on eight proposed changes in the TSSAA Bylaws that were discussed with administrators of member schools in East, Middle, and West Tennessee at the Regional Meetings that were held in early November. Only one of the eight proposals was passed by the Council.
The student’s activities for which they are compensated may not include an image or likeness of the student in a uniform, or other clothing or gear depicting the name or logo of the TSSAA member school the student is attending or has attended.
With the ruling, Tennessee becomes the 22nd state to amend their high school athletics bylaws to include NIL stipulations.