Florida high schoolers plunge head first into NIL waters — part of sea change for young athletes

High school athletes in Florida, like Vernell Brown III, are now able to earn money through endorsement deals, similar to college and professional athletes. Brown III, a top recruit, has already signed a deal with Adidas, pending approval from the Florida State Board of Education. The rules surrounding these deals are strict to prevent abuse, including restrictions on products that can be endorsed and bans on certain practices. Brown III’s father, Vernell Brown Jr., believes these deals can be life-changing for families and athletes, but emphasizes the importance of financial literacy and parental involvement. The deals are typically one year in length or until the player enrolls in college, and potential conflicts with future college sponsorships are avoided by completing deals beforehand. Despite the changes, Brown III remains focused on his performance on the field, but acknowledges the significance of building a brand through NIL opportunities.


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