Two bills filed in the Florida House could challenge NCAA policy and thrust Florida into the center of an ongoing national debate by permitting student-athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness.
Both bills– HB 251, filed by House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, and HB 287, filed by Rep. Chip LaMarca, R-Lighthouse Point — would allow student-athletes to hire agents and sign endorsements deals.
The student -athletes would not be paid by universities.
While the bill’s chances of survival in the Florida house and senate are uncertain, if not unlikely, ESPN’s Peter Burns reported that Rep. LaMarca leans toward optimism if the bill were to land on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s desk.
If the measure is signed into law, it would go into effect July 1, 2020 — far ahead of a similar law signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Claifornia law is scheduled take effect in 2023.
The NCAA has remarked that it recognizes the need to make changes for student-athletes but that any changed needs to be uniform at a national level as to avoid complications for all student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
“It is clear that a patchwork of different laws from different states will make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playing field for 1,100 campuses and nearly half a million student-athletes nationwide,” said the NCAA in a press release.
The Florida legislative session will begin Jan. 14.
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