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Gov. DeSantis signs bill to allow college athletes to earn money off of their names, images

Kyle Trask #11 of the Florida Gators passes during a game against the Florida State Seminoles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Kyle Trask #11 of the Florida Gators passes during a game against the Florida State Seminoles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis has paved the way for college athletes in Florida to receive compensation for their name and likeness beginning next year.

DeSantis signed the bill on Friday afternoon on the campus of the University of Miami. It will go into effect on July 1, 2021. Florida joins California as states to have enacted legislation to afford college athletes the opportunity to profit off of their name and likeness. Florida’s will start a year and a half prior to California’s becoming law.

“I would just say that Florida is leading on this and if you’re a blue chip high school recruit out there thinking about where you want to go, one of our Florida schools I think is a great landing spot for anyone in the country, but particularly for all our great Florida High School players,” DeSantis said. “Stay in state. I don’t want to see people going to Alabama and Clemson. I know they’ve got good programs, but I think there’s nothing better than winning a national championship in your home state.”

The NCAA has been attempting to put together a rules and guidelines on just how this would look for member schools since most states are not as far along in the process as California and Florida have been. There is still the possibility that laws in those states could be challenged by the NCAA legally.

Among parameters in Florida’s bill are several things that bear watching.

Florida’s law forbids athletes receiving payment from anyone associated with their school such as boosters or fundraising arms of a college. Payment can only come from a third-party and must be fair market value for using their name, image or likeness (NIL).


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