College athletes in Florida may not be able to get sponsor and endorsement income in 2021 after all.
The state of Florida was one of the first in the United States to create a law that allowed college athletes in the state to profit off their name, image and likeness in contradiction to current NCAA rules. Florida's law and other state laws around the country helped push the NCAA to finally begin the process of changing its rules to allow athletes to capitalize on their own image rights.
But the Florida Senate passed a bill late Wednesday night that included an amendment to the law it passed in 2020. Tucked into a bill about charter schools was a provision that delayed the effective date of the state's name, image, and likeness law to July 1, 2022. The law has been set to go into effect on July 1, 2021 ever since it was ratified.
Neither the bill nor the amendment specifically explains why Florida legislators are interested in delaying the bill's passage. Four other states are set to have NIL laws go into effect in July.
The NCAA has promised to reform its outdated amateurism rules in the near future but has been light on the specifics of those reforms so far. The NCAA is also hoping for guidance from the federal government. A federal law would supersede state laws and prevent the NCAA from having to navigate myriad state laws governing athlete income.
Athletes notice Senate's actions
Longtime Florida college QB McKenzie Milton immediately noticed what the Florida Senate had done. Milton, a senior at Florida State after transferring from UCF, incredulously posted a section of the bill to Twitter with the #NotNCAAProperty hashtag. That hashtag has become popular for college athletes to use as they fight for their rights.
So did Miami QB D'Eriq King.
Milton, King, and any other seniors in college would be the ones most adversely affected by the proposed change to the law. The delay would mean they would be prevented — barring legal action from the NCAA — from making endorsement money in the final year of their college careers.
The bill that passed the Senate must also be ratified by the House and there's no guarantee that the amendment will be approved in Florida's other legislative chamber. If it is, it would then need to be approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis before the delay would take effect.
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