Florida Colleges and Universities Join Name, Image, and Likeness Law Beginning July 1st

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Beginning July 1st, a new law will allow student athletes in Florida who play for a college or university the ability to profit from third-party organizations using their name, image, and likeness or NIL.

While NIL was set to be discussed on June 22nd by the Florida Board of Governors who oversee state universities, the proposal by the Board of Education on Thursday established NIL rules to include state colleges within the new law.

Included in the Florida College System’s proposal, schools themselves, boosters, or other foundations part of the school are prohibited from providing compensation to athletes because compensation for NIL is only eligible from third-party organizations. Florida College System Chancellor Kathryn Hebda says the proposal also “puts some parameters around those individuals who could serve as agents” and “what their requirements are.”

A difference between the NIL law for universities and colleges is that the new proposal by the Board of Education requires colleges to fully fund and provide financial literacy courses for all student athletes, while the Florida University System does not require such courses. On the other hand, the university system includes regulations for trademarking, whereas the college proposal does not.

Florida is one of only a few states that has established NIL laws for student athletes. Other states that will allow compensation starting July 1st include Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Alabama. Other states like Maryland and South Carolina have passed a NIL bill, but are waiting on approval from their Governors. Once the law in effect, athletes in these states will be able to sign endorsement deals, sell autographs, and other business dealings similar to that of professional athletes.

The fact that NIL laws are being established by individual states, as opposed to one governing body, is a source of concern for lawmakers in other states as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) due to the uncertainty in financial equity among states. Less than three weeks away from July 1st, the NCAA has not yet commented on the upcoming NIL laws.

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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports.  Email tips to [email protected]

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