Today's date is August 11, 2020

Governor DeSantis signs College athletes pay bill

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Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 646: Intercollegiate Athlete Compensation and Rights, authorizing certain intercollegiate athletes to earn compensation for the use of their names, images, or likenesses. The Governor was joined by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Senator Debbie Mayfield, Representative Chip LaMarca and Representative Kionne McGhee.

“With the signing of this bill, Florida will be a state where talented athletes have the right to get paid for the use of their name, image or likeness,” said Governor DeSantis. “This is common sense policy that is long overdue and I’m proud that Florida has been a driving force behind the conversation for fairness in college athletics.”

“Student athletes should be able to benefit from their name, image and likeness just as any other student or individual would be able to benefit,” said Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “I’m grateful for Governor DeSantis’ leadership in trailblazing a path for other states to follow. This bill signing will change college sports for the better and I look forward to following the success of our state’s top student athletes.”

“It is a great day in the state of Florida for all of our college athletes,” said Senator Debbie Mayfield. “SB 646 provides them the opportunity to receive reasonable compensation from the use of their name, image and likeness, just like every other college student. Thank you Governor Ron DeSantis for supporting Florida’s 11,000 talented student athletes in their efforts to access the Free Market.”

“Governor Ron DeSantis was an early supporter of this law,” said Representative Chip LaMarca. “Florida will now afford our state’s 11,000 collegiate athletes the ability to earn a living, the same as their fellow students. For far too long, the collegiate athletic system professionalized everyone associated with athletics except for the young women and men who put in all the hard work. Today, we changed that. I cannot thank the countless students, parents, professional athletes, coaches, and directors enough for helping to get this bill over the goal line. Thank you to Governor DeSantis for standing with Florida’s collegiate athletes.”

“This is about fairness. It was absolutely wrong to prevent these adults from earning compensation on their own name, image, or likeness,” said Representative Kionne McGhee. “These athletes have a limited window to earn compensation on their athletic careers, using their incredible skills to support themselves and their families. College sports is a multi-billion dollar industry and this action today puts us on the right side of history. To the athletes: we have heard you, fairness is here. While the NCAA’s rules unfairly limited these highly skilled experts, Florida has said loud and clear: that’s not acceptable in the Sunshine State.”

The signing of this bill authorizes an intercollegiate athlete at a postsecondary educational institution to earn compensation for the use of her or his name, image, or likeness (NIL), and prohibits a postsecondary institution from preventing an athlete from earning NIL compensation.

In addition, the signed bill prohibits a postsecondary institution, and specified entities and individuals associated with a postsecondary institution, from compensating or causing compensation to be directed to a current or prospective athlete for her or his NIL. These provisions will take effect July 1, 2021.

For more information on SB 646: Intercollegiate Athlete Compensation and Rights, see HERE.

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