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Florida’s NIL law back on track with legislative OK on Friday

As part of a whirlwind 48 hours in the Florida Legislature, the state’s name, image and likeness legislation has regained its July 1, 2021 effective date.

Sen. Travis Hutson filed an amendment on Friday that would supersede a late addition Wednesday night to a charter school bill, which would have made the NIL effective date July 1, 2022. That prompted FSU administrators, including president John Thrasher, to get involved along with other schools in an effort to ensure the NIL law was in place as scheduled this summer.

The amendment was approved by Florida’s house and then senate later on Friday afternoon. The NIL legislation had seen bipartisan support for more than a year and had been championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The legislation is a slam dunk to be signed by DeSantis, who has 15 days from the bill’s arrival on his desk to give his signature.

“We really appreciate the legislative leadership for stepping up and helping to fix this,” FSU athletics director David Coburn told the Osceola. “We appreciate the governor’s support and the fact that they all could work together for the benefit of the student-athletes in the state of Florida is very much appreciated.”

The concern is other states also have pending legislation and college administrators don’t want to create a competitive advantage for one school compared to a rival in another state, whether it is in recruiting or how current student-athletes can brand themselves. Legislation in Washington would eventually override the state laws and a few bills, including one from former Ohio State receiver Anthony Gonzalez, a Republican representative from Ohio.

Tight end Camren McDonald and Milton were among the first to call out the legislative moves on Wednesday night on Twitter, with coaches from around the state jumping in on social media on Thursday afternoon. FSU football coach Mike Norvell, Miami coach Manny Diaz, FAU coach Willie Taggart, Miami quarterback D’Eriq King and others made a plea to legislators to correct what they felt was mistake.

Hutson told SI.com on Thursday his concern was in regards to scholarships being revoked by the NCAA if an athlete signed a deal to use his name, image or likeness in a commercial, autograph signing, social media endorsement or other methods to earn money while in school. The NCAA reportedly ensured Hutson and legislators that they did “not want to punish players on their name, image and likeness and wants to protect players,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.