St. John Bosco football team signs up for unprecedented team-wide NIL deal

Coach Jason Negro speaks on the football field.
St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro has opened the way for every member of his team to participate in an NIL deal with a sports performance company.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

St. John Bosco’s football team is about to go where no high school team has gone — a team-wide name, image and likeness deal that will pay compensation to anyone who wants to participate, according to an announcement by KONGiQ Sports Performance on Monday. It is believed to be the first for a high school.

Players who choose to participate will receive compensation for posting personal experiences on social media accounts using the KONGiQ Sports Performance System and also on the KONGiQ App. KONGiQ says the student-athletes also will be listed as influencers on the company’s website.

The first of two payments will be delivered the night before St. John Bosco opens its season Friday night in Allen, Texas. Players are allowed to be compensated under state rules as long as there is no recognition of the student’s school, school logos, uniforms or insignias. This deal is believed to be $400 for each player who participates, starting with a $200 payment.

The news release includes comments from school president Brian Wickstrom and coach Jason Negro, and the endorsement could lead to a reprimand for the school from the Southern Section because NIL is supposed to only involve individuals under CIF rules.

St. John Bosco later issued a clarifying statement that neither the school nor the football program is part of any NIL agreement. The sports performance company is entering into individual agreements.

Ron Nocetti, executive director of CIF, makes it clear, “Our schools cannot participate in NIL deals on behalf of their student athletes. We may consider schools trying to do NIL deals with students undue influence. Schools cannot be affiliated or anyone associated with school.”


After years of anticipation for a program, King/Drew beat View Park 36-6 on Friday night in the team’s first football game in school history.

KONGiQ, part of Bass Enterprises, is based in Dallas and focuses on sports performance, equipment and wireless technology for college and high school sports programs.

Individual high school players have been receiving NIL deals, such as Los Alamitos quarterback Malachi Nelson, Sierra Canyon girls’ basketball player Juju Watkins, West Ranch basketball player Jazz Gardner and Harvard-Westlake girls’ soccer players Alyssa and Gisele Thompson.

A team-wide agreement, however, appears to be one of the first and could lead to others. St. John Bosco is ranked No. 2 in The Times’ top 25 rankings.