Local golfer becomes first Oklahoma high school student to land NIL deal

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 12/15/2022, 5:28 PM
Edited: 12/15/2022, 5:35 PM

(BROKEN ARROW, Okla.) A Broken Arrow high schooler is earning money from her Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) thanks to a recent Oklahoma School Board decision and a paid partnership with National Scouting Report (NSR).

Peyton Coburn is a golfer and a junior who attends school in Tulsa. 

For decades, professional athletes have been the only ones allowed to financially benefit from NIL deals, with paid partnerships from big name restaurants and other service providers. 

That officially changed in 2020, when the NAIA passed legislation to allow college athletes to monetize their personal brand. 

A Grand Rapids volleyball player attending Aquinas College was the first college student in the nation to get paid for their NIL. 

In 2021, the NCAA adopted their own name, image, and likeness policy. 

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed Oklahoma’s allowances into effect that same year, by way of the Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act. The legislation expanded the definition of student athlete and athletic agent to allow high school and college student athletes to receive NIL compensation. 

The final piece for Oklahoma high schoolers fell into place this October, when the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) approved guidelines for student athletes to start landing deals. 

The ink was dry on Coburn’s contract the following month. Soon after she received her first paycheck. 

"Right now with transfer portal it’s just so hard because that five percent of athletes that go is now three, and so it’s harder,” Coburn said. “And I was talking to all of my friends that play that are girls and they were like it’s so hard, I don’t even know where to start. And I had already kind of talked to them about NSR and then all of a sudden it was approached like, hey you can make money. And I was like, really? I can make money for stuff I was already talking about? Sounds great!” 

Coburn told VNN she has been playing golf since she was five years old and decided to get serious about it when she turned 12. 

She says joining up with NSR has been a gamechanger for college scholarship opportunities. 

“I had a thousand more responses,” Coburn said. “Just multitudes of people versus just small amounts when you’re just trying to email schools that you might be interested in by yourself. It puts you out there to everybody.” 

NSR College Scout Corey Else said Coburn’s firsthand experience with the quantity and quality of college coach introductions she’s received from NSR services made her an ideal spokesperson.

“Having a thumb on the pulse and being in the college scouting industry all day, every day, didn’t hurt on how quickly NSR jumped at the opportunity,” Else said.

Else said they always talk to their athletes about improving their social media influence to help forward their athletic careers. 

“Taking an opportunity to now benefit from your fame, benefit from your fans and your followers, is really a huge deal and its groundbreaking,” Else said. 

He said overall the introduction of NIL has been positive but there are some situations that seem to go against the idea of why NIL was even introduced.   

“Boosters can still provide an NIL deal not necessarily to an individual but to a group and I do see issues with that,” Else said. “For example, if you were on the offensive line of a university and the entire offensive line was getting paid by this booster on a monthly basis for being on the team and being on that position, right? So that precedent is set now that a high school athlete would be paid if they made it on the team and made it to that position. And that’s problematic in that the NCAA was trying to avoid that. They want to avoid the appearance that a booster is paying someone to come and be a part of that program at that university.” 

So, how is Coburn planning to spend her newfound earnings? 

“I actually am saving it and I’m putting it into a savings account for like expenses whenever I do go to college,” Coburn said. “So, for like dorm room, books and things like that.” 

Learn more about NSR here. 


Ann Marie Worthley
12/18/2022, 12:27 PM

Great story!!