Gov. DeSantis signs NIL legislation

Florida is poised to be the first state to see name, image and likeness legislation go into effect in July 2021.

That is if elected officials in Washington, D.C., don’t get there first.

Gov. Ron DeSantis – a former baseball player at Yale who has stated his support for NIL legislation – signed a bill into law that would allow student-athletes to earn money off their name, image or likeness. DeSantis signed the bill on Friday in a ceremony at the University of Miami.

“We are not talking about you get a scholarship to Florida State or Miami and the universities are going to pay you to play,” DeSantis told reporters in Miami. “That’s not what we’re talking about. You’re an amateur, you’re going to get a great education, that basic model is the same. But, if you have a situation where you have some of the great athletes, particularly in football and basketball, whose name, image and likeness is being used to make millions and millions of dollars and they don’t even have the opportunity to get any of that, there’s something fundamentally unfair about that.”

Corey Simon, who played at FSU, and Jonathan Vilma, who played at Miami, were among the representatives at the signing ceremony.

The bill would pave the way for a college athlete in the state to earn money from, for example, doing an advertisement for a business on TV or a social media endorsement for a product or business. And while earlier versions of the bill had the legislation going into effect later this summer, this bill has an effective date of July 1, 2021.

Among the major concerns with NIL legislation is the lack of uniformity, specifically allowing an athlete to pick a school based on legal advantages of NIL legislation on a state-by-state basis. A bill in California, which began the wave across the nation, won’t go into effect until 2023. There were more than 20 state legislatures that were reviewing NIL legislation this year, according to USA Today.

FSU athletics director David Coburn has frequently stated that he expects Sen. Marco Rubio to introduce a bill that would supersede any state bills. Coburn told the FSU Board of Trustees last week that “we are supportive” of a bill from Rubio.

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