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Today’s Case

Ohio high school golfer signs NIL management deal, forfeits high school eligibility

New Albany High School (Ohio) golfer Mia Hammond (Photo Credit: Carlos Osorio, Associated Press)

New Albany High School (Ohio) sophomore Mia Hammond, last season’s Division I high school girls golf individual state champion, has signed with a sports management company for NIL representation — a move that forfeits her high school eligibility.

Columbus-based Sterling Sports Management announced the partnership last month, with Hammond’s father and coach, Tom, confirming her decision to The Dispatch. Mia has not signed any NIL deals but there are “irons in the fire,” Tom Hammond said.

“It’s more about representation and guidance (through the NIL process) than anything else,” Tom Hammond said. “We've had a lot of companies reach out to represent Mia and we don't want to do anything wrong to jeopardize her college eligibility.”

Although thirty-three states and Washington, D.C. currently permit NIL for high school athletes, Ohio is not among them.

The Verdict

  • Could be the future for prominent high school athletes

    • For high-level high school athletes who have a significant probability of playing their sport in college and professionally, I could see this being more commonplace.

    • However, athletes will need to weigh the consequences of their decision, along with building their personal brand, in order to capitalize on NIL deals.

  • Being located in another state could have changed this decision

    • Being located in Ohio (a state that does not permit NIL for high school students) perhaps made the decision “easier” to an extent.

      • Then again, if Hammond was in a state where NIL is permitted for high school athletes, this would not be a story. (Unless she transferred to a high school in a state where NIL is allowed.)

    • In 2022, Ohio member schools voted whether to permit NIL for high schools. It resulted in a 2-to-1 vote against allowing it.

  • What will her NIL earnings be throughout high school?

    • As her father notes there are no NIL deals in place for her as of yet, her Instagram notes #teamping and #teamadidas in her bio. Perhaps these deals are forthcoming - or just equipment/clothing she prefers to use/wear when golfing.

      • I applaud the decision of working with an agency to guide her in the right direction now when it comes to NIL for high school and college in later years.

NIL vs. Collectives: Coach Prime weighs in

Sanders stopped by University of Colorado’s NIL class to talk NIL and which players are making real money. Check out this video for more!

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