Florida state footballers, coaches and sports directors spoke on Thursday in opposition to a bill that would delay the state’s plans for a year to allow college athletes to make money from endorsements.
Miami Coach Manny Diaz’s Florida Coach Mike Norville joined the midfielders, Drake King And the Mackenzie Milton, In demanding that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis veto a bill that would pressure the state’s groundbreaking law for name, image, and likeness. Diaz and others have spent the past several months preparing for what will be a significant shift in the world of college sport. They said they were surprised by the proposed change, which was introduced through an amendment to the Education Bill that was not originally related to sports.
Referring to the video of the Senate vote Wednesday night, Diaz told ESPN, “The way it was passed, seeing the video the way it was read, was almost accidental, accidental.” It’s hard to understand the motive. I think this is probably the hardest part. The governor was totally in agreement with that, so we’ll see what happens. ”
King, the first Miami midfielder, tweeted Thursday morning: “Don’t hold back now. Let’s take advantage of our name and example picture. We deserve it!”
There is no reason to wait to do the right thing
Florida was a pioneer in NIL, and as other states quickly tried to follow our example, college athletes in Florida were able to position themselves to be ready to take advantage starting July 1, 2021.#KeepTheDate
– Mike Norvell (Coach_Norvell) April 29, 2021
Florida coach Dan Mullen also added his voice to the conversation, tweeting: “Florida needs to legislate nothing in 2021, as originally planned. We need to do better for our student-athletes.”
The amendment was one of two recent additions to a bill that originally focused on independent schools statewide. If signed by the governor, it would delay implementation of the law that would allow college athletes to start making money from their names, pictures, and likenesses while at school. The law was originally scheduled to go into effect on July 1, but may be postponed to summer 2022.
Senator Travis Hutson, who wrote the amendment, said they chose to delay because they don’t want any schools or athletes to face punishment or penalties if the NCAA decides to abide by its rules that are in conflict with the new state law. Hutson said that if the NCAA provided written assurance that schools and athletes would not be punished if they took advantage of the new law, his colleagues would reverse their course and call for a special legislative session to reinstate the 2021 date.
The president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Mark Emert, has reportedly told some college athletes that the federation is not planning to punish any athletes who benefit from the upcoming changes in state laws this summer, according to the Des Moines Register. When a NCAA spokeswoman was asked to confirm that no athlete would face any repercussions for following state laws, she declined to answer the question Thursday. Hutson said he has not yet had any talks with the NCAA to request a letter, but he believes some members of the legislature are in contact with the Indianapolis-based association.
“We need to write something that does not punish anyone,” said Hutson. “We definitely want the children to win.”
The bill in question also included another amendment that would prohibit transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports in Florida. State lawmakers refused to go ahead with similar legislation earlier this month after the National League of Leagues threatened to cancel future tournament events from the state if it passed discriminatory laws.
DeSantis has previously expressed support for banning transgender athletes from playing female sports, which could make his decision to reject the bill more complicated. The amendments, which were discussed briefly in the Senate, came as a surprise to many lawmakers. Rep. Chip Lamarca, who wrote the original name, image and likeness bill, said Thursday that he “could not be more disappointed” with the changes.
“Not only has our legislature resurrected and resurrected questionable politics, but against all odds, the Florida Senate has stripped Florida of its leadership role that will enable student-athletes to earn a living from their talents,” Lamarca said in a statement to ESPN. “. “In one step, the Florida legislature has made our state of economic and sporting freedom against students.”
Florida is one of 11 states to have passed laws that would create new opportunities for athletes to make money from their names, photos, and looks while in college. When the Florida bill was signed in last June, it became the first state to mark this summer as the starting line when athletes can start taking advantage of the deals.
DeSantis described it as a recruiting feature for Florida schools at a public ceremony to announce the new law at Miami’s indoor soccer training facility. Miami Athletic Director Blake James shared a photo of the event Thursday afternoon on Twitter that also asked DeSantis to veto the bill.
Florida law initially presented pressure that caused several other states to pass laws on July 1. Both Alabama and Mississippi, home to schools that often compete with Florida for top recruits, passed NIL laws in April. Georgia’s legislature passed a bill that is currently awaiting signature by its governor.
The NCAA has been changing its rules for nearly two years and said last week it remained committed to creating a unified national base for how players earn money in the future. Congress is also considering multiple proposals for a national law. The July 1 date set by Florida and adopted by several other states was the main source of pressure for the NCAA and Congress to act quickly.
Terry Mohajer, UCF’s sporting director, told ESPN that he remains confident the NCAA will pass new rules nationwide this summer, which could make Florida law a moot point.
“In my opinion, this is not a big deal,” one migrant said. “This is a hot topic, it’s being passed on by all states, and the NCAA will have to get through.”
Meanwhile, Florida State Athletic Director Scott Streklin told ESPN that he hopes the Florida NIL will revert to its original enactment date in July 2021.
Lawmakers in other states with zero-tolerance laws to be implemented soon told ESPN that they are not aware of efforts to pressure their actions. The coaches and athletes – especially those entering their final year of NCAA eligibility – remain confused, though, about the motivation behind Florida’s belated decision to reverse course.
“The NCAA and foundations are not missing out on any of their money as the NIL Act is passed,” Milton, the FSU midfielder, tweeted Thursday. “Only athletes who” care “a lot..no great.”