While I am really not one to do much gambling, I would love to see what Las Vegas odds-makers would have set the odds in Louisiana that it wouldn't be a high school football player to be the first to cash in on Louisiana's new policy allowing high school athletes to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness.

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Earlier this month, in April of 2022, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, LHSAA, voted to approve a change to its bylaws that would allow high school student-athletes to receive Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) benefits.

This is much like the new policy applying to NCAA student athletes.  Regardless of any thoughts regarding the pro's and con's of this new ruling, it's my thinking that most would be completely blown away by the sport from which the first to profit came.

Wasting no time capitalizing on the opportunity was Brother Martin's Richie Clementi of New Orleans.

This Still Has Lots of Sports Writers Left With Their Jaws Wide Open

Some of the surprising factors concerning his being the first to make bank for playing high school sports for many sports enthusiasts across Louisiana include:

  • He is NOT a football player
  • He is NOT a basketball player
  • He is NOT a baseball player
  • He is NOT a golfer
  • He is NOT a tennis player
  • He IS a wrestler
  • And he is ONLY a freshman

No, it wasn't some 5-star senior football player to broach this new opportunity. Just a freshman wrestler, and he is set to make four figures from his first contract regarding the usage of his name, image and likeness

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Granted, in his 80 wrestling matches over the past two years, he is completely undefeated.

What Company Was The First To Sign A High School Athlete?

In an article from the Louisiana Radio Network, we learn that Friendly Powersports Slidell signed Clementi to a compensatory deal that,

....will allow the young wrestler the opportunity to focus on improving without having to miss a practice or workout to go to work, a choice that Clementi says a lot of young athletes have to make.

Clementi says the opportunity, "I’d have to miss three or four practices right before a big tournament, which now isn’t the case because of this deal. I can still promote and make money while I’m at practice, or while I’m wrestling, or even at tournaments."

To add to his opportunities, this young superstar has already received a second offer for another NIL deal, and there are potentially more to come.

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