Florida retreats on launch for college athlete compensation – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida lawmakers reverse play on an athlete compensation bill shortly before the time run out on Friday after college athletes and others deemed lazy to delay their ability to hire agents and Entering contracts for ink advertising.
With that reversal, Florida college athletes will finally be able to earn cash for their names, pictures, and likenesses again in July, according to a bill signed by Governor Ron DeSantis last year.
On Wednesday, a senator added a language to a bill for charter schools that would have delayed implementation of the law until next year. That sparked anger among star athletes from some of the state’s most popular sports programs.
On Friday, the last day of the Florida legislature, that same legislature, Senator Travis Hutson, calmed the excitement by reversing course when he changed another educational bill to reverse his earlier amendment.
Hutson said he and other lawmakers received assurance from the NCAA Friday morning that student athletes in Florida would not contravene the NCAA and potentially lose scholarships.
The legislature was clearly under pressure to fix what one legislator called a “glitch” in the legislative process.
“If we don’t make this change, we’ll hurt these student athletes,” said Republican David Smith.
In the end, both chambers approved the change.
“Thank you for your hard work over the past 48 hours to get this right!” McKenzie Milton, the quarterback at Florida State University, tweeted Friday after confronting lawmakers the previous day.
“I couldn’t be more excited and delighted that my House and Senate colleagues listened to the concerns and disappointments of our college sports partners, learned on the subject, and made the right decision today by breaking the date of our initial implementation of Name and maintained image and resemblance here in the Sunshine State, ”said Rep. Chip LaMarca, who helped pass college athlete compensation law last year.
DeSantis, a former college baseball player, advocated the ability of college athletes to make money off their names. After DeSantis put the matter into law, Florida sports teams suddenly became more attractive to some of the best athletes in the country.
The NCAA, which operates college athletics overseas, has prevented athletes from using their skills on the field or in the arena, arguing that doing so would mess up the distinction between amateur and professional athletes. Lawyers have rejected this argument for many reasons, noting that the colleges and the NCAA themselves have benefited from student athletics for years.
Had it not been for Friday’s change, the Republican governor would have been in a difficult position: he could have vetoed the law, but that would also have undermined the broader education law that would have empowered public universities to sponsor charter schools.
However, some Democrats had welcomed this prospect, as the same bill included another last-minute provision added to the School Act that banned transgender girls and women from playing on public school teams designed for athletes born as girls.
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