Philadelphia Introducing First NIL Bill Aimed at Protecting Youth Athletes

Last Updated on November 4, 2022

With name, image and likeness opportunities quickly filtering down from the collegiate level to high school and youth athletes, Philadelphia Councilmember Isaiah Thomas has introduced the Philly NIL Youth Protection Act to help protect youth athletes.

Pennsylvania is not yet one of the states to allow high school NIL deals, but the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has approved a plan to allow NIL on first reading, although it must be read two more times before it becomes official.

“We are expecting PIAA to allow student athletes to receive NIL deals,” said PIAA District XII Chair Michael Hawkins. “PIAA is excited to see youth athletes rise to fame in Philadelphia but we need to make sure this rise is done responsibly. We are grateful to PIAA XII board member and basketball coach, Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, for putting young people first. By requiring financial literacy and consumer protection in youth NIL deals, Philadelphia sports will continue to lead for generations to come.”

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The Philly Youth Protection Act seeks to provide financial literary and consumer protection for youth athletes interested in name, image and likeness deals. If passed, it would provide educational materials on NIL deals to students and their families that outline both the benefits and risks of a deal and guidance on various types of NIL deals.

Additionally, the bill would establish the creation of the Philly NIL Youth Protection Fund to equip families of students with offered NIL deals a city-vetted lawyer and/or accountant to assist in understanding and negotiating the deals.

 “NIL deals are coming to high school athletes. Philly can lead by providing proactive safeguards to these families,” said coach and Councilmember Isaiah Thomas. “By putting financial education and consumer protection at the forefront of these deals, Philly is sending the message that you can play, work and grow here. Philly’s professional teams and fans are having a moment – this bill will ensure that this moment extends to the next generation of Philly leaders.”

The Philly NIL Youth Protection Fund will be established and replenished annually. This Fund will be accessible to Philadelphia resident high school students and their families with adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. The Fund will provide up to five billable hours with a lawyer and/or accountant to provide families with support. 

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