In the waning moments of the 2021 Florida legislative session, elected officials amended a bill (SB 1028) that will allow college and university athletes to profit from their names and images beginning July 1, 2021.
On Wednesday lawmakers added a provision that would have pushed back the effective date of the name, image and likeness law until 2022 due to concerns with the NCAA.
However, that provision was changed after last minute lobbying and some assurances from the NCAA.
According to Sen. Travis Hutson, a former collegiate athlete, the delay in the implementation was to ensure that the NCAA would not penalize universities and athletes for benefitting from the state law. The NCAA has yet to issue regulations or guidance on whether student athletes can profit from their names and images.
“(The NCAA) started the rulemaking process, there was a federal lawsuit and the DOJ (Department of Justice) kind of told them to stop for a second. So that was going on, which sparked us moving the date. Because we didn’t want to get caught in a conundrum where our student athletes start playing, do the name, image and likeness, and all of the sudden the NCAA comes and does sanctions,” Hutson told The News Service of Florida on Friday.
Hutson said that during a discussion with the president of the NCAA he was told that “their intentions are to fully protect the student athlete in terms of name, image and likeness as best they can.” The discussion resulted in moving the implementation date to July 1, 2021.
The phone call between Hutson and the NCAA was initiated by Florida State University (FSU) President John Thrasher, who was pushing for the change.
Also, FSU football coach Mike Norvell and FSU and former UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton made their positions known during the debate over the implementation date.
On Wednesday night Milton tweeted, “So when will the time actually come College athletes can truly use their OWN name to help benefit themselves and their loved ones not just the NCAA & universities?? It’s comical at this point. Let the kids play & let the kids get PAYED.”
And FSU football coach Mike Norvell tweeted, “There is no reason to wait to do the right thing. The state of Florida was a leader on NIL.”
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