The annual two-day September meeting of the 10 section commissioners of the CIF begins Tuesday in Sacramento, and don’t expect any announcement about changes in rules regarding name, image and likeness.
The California Interscholastic Federation, the state’s governing body for high school athletics, put out a questions-and-answers directive in August. Athletes are not allowed to wear any school uniforms for endorsement deals and schools can be found in violation of undue influence rules if NIL pitches are used to attract athletes.
There will be discussions this week from the commissioners about NIL, executive director Ron Nocetti said.
“Commissioners have been doing a good job when any photos come to their attention,” he said of the rule that bans athletes from using their school uniforms in any NIL presentations. “We immediately ask to take them down and schools have complied.”
The big question is what happens if CIF imposes an eligibility punishment if someone doesn’t take a photo down and takes the case to court. The CIF hasn’t fared well previously when going against attorneys representing private schools.
“We can never predict what can happen legally,” Nocetti said, “but state law applies to collegiate athletes not high school. Our bylaw hasn’t changed. This is new territory for everybody. We think we’re on good footing. CIF membership is voluntary. They agree to be members and follow our rules.”
The CIF will continue to discuss sportsmanship, crowd behavior and the future of education-based high school sports. “We continue to define who the CIF is and who we are not,” he said.
As far as the emphasis on sportsmanship, Nocetti said, “Fan behavior is not only chasing away officials but is not appropriate for high school sports and won’t be tolerated by schools. They’re all ready to say, ‘This needs to stop and we need to enforce our rules.’
“Parents are supposed to be the ones being the role models for their children and in some circumstances, that’s not happening anymore.”
Schools have the authority to ban supporters from games when behavior is disruptive or causes safety concerns.