• Sun. Feb 12th, 2023

The Gulf Coast Sovereign Star

News from the Gulf Coast

Florida Senate Passes Bill to Expand Student Athlete NIL Rights


Feb 12, 2023 ,
Photo by Nate Pesce

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A bill that would amend Florida’s Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) law has been passed by both the state’s House and Senate. The bill aims to put Florida’s post-secondary educational institutions on a level playing field with other states and allow the state’s intercollegiate student-athletes to fully benefit from NIL as authorized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The bill removes restrictions on Florida’s post-secondary educational institutions and intercollegiate student-athletes. For example, the bill removes the ban on institutions and their support organizations directing compensation to a student-athlete. However, institutions and their support organizations must still comply with NCAA bylaws that prohibit “pay-for-play,” illegal recruiting inducements, and limit the reduction, revocation, or non-renewal of student-athlete financial aid.

The proposed changes will not negatively affect student-athlete rights protected by Florida’s NIL law. Student-athletes will still be able to hire professional representation, including licensed athlete agents, licensed attorneys, and tax professionals, as authorized by the NCAA NIL policy. Additionally, student-athlete contractual rights will be governed by general statute, such as the Uniform Commercial Code, under which student-athletes have the same rights and responsibilities as private parties when entering into and fulfilling obligations under such agreements.

The bill expands the financial literacy and life skills workshops that institutions must conduct for their student-athletes to include an entrepreneurship component. The workshop must be conducted twice for each student-athlete prior to graduation, with the second workshop being more advanced than the first. The bill also maintains the current authorization for student-athletes to hire athlete agents for NIL purposes.

The bill protects post-secondary institutions and their staff from liability related to the loss of NIL compensation due to routine decisions made in the course of intercollegiate athletics. This protection is meant to ensure that institutions and their staff can make routine decisions without fear of losing NIL compensation.

The bill’s passage reflects a growing trend in the United States to allow college athletes to profit from their NIL. In 2020, Florida became the first state to pass a NIL law, and since then, 29 other states have followed suit. The bill’s passage is a significant step forward for Florida’s intercollegiate student-athletes and for the state’s post-secondary educational institutions.

The bill’s passage is a major victory for Florida’s intercollegiate student-athletes and post-secondary educational institutions. By removing restrictions and allowing student-athletes to fully benefit from NIL, the bill will help to level the playing field between Florida and other states. The bill’s passage is a clear sign that the state is committed to the well-being of its student-athletes and to the success of its post-secondary educational institutions.