SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s official — Georgia will allow NIL deals for high school student-athletes.
It’s the 30th state to allow athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.
The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) approved the decision on Monday. The vote was 66-9, according to meeting executive committee notes.
“It’s a bad move,” Jenkins head coach Anthony Welch said. “You’re an amateur sport. If you start getting paid then that’s going to present a whole other set of problems. Now, you’re really talking about the recruiting process getting out of hand. Now that’s not already out of hand. I just think high schoolers shouldn’t be paid.”
“I’m not necessarily in favor of it by any means,” Savannah Christian head football coach Baker Woodard said. “I know the rules say it’s not to deter people from going other places, but that’s where my fear comes in. Other people that have this trying to recruit your players. If it’s supposed to help the game and help kids, in a positive way, then that’s why we are in the business.”
GHSA is also reclassifying schools, going from seven to six classes; the highest class will now be 6A.
But the biggest changes will come in how the state playoffs are structured.
Private schools in Class A through 3A will compete in a separate state championship for each sport. While they’ll compete against public schools during the regular season, the GHSA will use a power-rating system to determine seeding in the postseason.
“If I can go get who I want,” Welch said, “then I should win. That’s how it is. You have a lot of schools at a disadvantage. Here, whoever shows up that’s who we have to play. There, if you’re not really invited, then you don’t play.”
“I think it’s a little unfair on private schools,” Woodward said. “Now you have way more public schools with the advantage of having a state championship. Now, you’re going to have one state championship for private schools in (Class A to the Class AAA), but public schools are going to have four. There’s two classifications of Class A, then you have Class AA and Class AAA. If the GHSA wants to punish private school kids with parents that want to make investments and put their kids in a faith-based school, I don’t think that’s ok.”
The power rating format will be used in public and private schools in Classes A through Class AAA.