Just in case they needed it, the state of Florida has tightened the NIL screws on the NCAA.
Back in late October, the NCAA announced that, “[i]n the Association’s continuing efforts to support college athletes, the NCAA’s top governing board voted unanimously to permit students participating in athletics the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness [NIL] in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.” In late April, the NCAA took another huge step as it pertains to the NIL issue as its Board of Governors voted to support “rule changes to allow student-athletes to receive compensation for third-party endorsements both related to and separate from athletics.”
Friday afternoon, as expected, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed into law the state’s own versions of a NIL law. The Sunshine State thus becomes the third to enact such legislation, joining California and Colorado. However, Florida’s law goes into effect a year and a half before the other two, on July 1, 2021.
“This whole issue of student-athletes and being able to receive compensations for their likeness or image is something that’s been bubbling to the surface in the last couple years,” the Republican governor stated. “I viewed it as something that was a matter of fairness.”
The press conference at which DeSantis spoke, incidentally, was held at the University of Miami’s indoor football practice facility. And thus, we were witness to the governor hitting the recruiting trail for his state’s football programs.
DeSantis: "For all of our great high school players, stay in state. I see people going to Alabama and Clemson and I know they've got good programs, but there's nothing better than winning a national championship in your home state. So maybe this will be an added incentive."
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) June 12, 2020
The NCAA is expected to work out the details of its plan by January of next year. Student-athletes should be permitted by the NCAA to begin profiting off of their NIL in July of 2021. The NCAA is seeking guidance from the federal legislators in crafting NIL regulations, with those laws superseding any enacted at the state level. At least, that’s the NCAA’s current hope.
From USA Today:
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) said last week during a video meeting of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics that he plans to introduce a bill by late June or early July that he says will be “bipartisan and bicameral.” There is already a bill in Congress from Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), but it has stalled.
In May, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) sent a letter to the NCAA, each of the Power Five conferences and dozens of other college sports organizations and schools asking for responses to 20 questions related to the issue. It seems likely that the committee will hold a hearing on the matter, which also has drawn the attention of Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and other members of that chamber.