Florida Looks To Delay New NIL Rules, Then Reverses Course After Outcry

Language buried in an unrelated amendment would have changed the start date of Florida’s new rules on student-athlete name-image-likeness (NIL) earnings – but the state reversed course after sharp public outcry.

Proponents of student-athlete earning rights said they were stunned by a line in an unrelated 71-page amendment that would have kept athletes from earning money off of their names, images, and likenesses until July of 2022.

Florida was set to become one of the first states updating NIL rules for student-athletes. Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a landmark bill last summer, setting up July 1, 2021 as the date when Florida student-athletes could start earning compensation.

That bill came amid a nationwide groundswell for updated NIL rules, with other states racing to match Florida’s start date to ensure schools in their states wouldn’t be at a disadvantage. Mississippi, New Mexico, and Alabama have passed similar laws taking effect in July. Georgia, Maryland, and South Carolina have similar bills awaiting signature by their governors. Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, and New Jersey have all passed laws that will start in 2022.

But two lines in an unrelated amendment threatened to move Florida from the front of that line to the back. According to Sports Illustratedtwo lines 66 pages into a 71-page amendment on charter schools would have delayed the law’s effective date to July of 2022. The amendment passed quickly, with critics arguing lawmakers may not have even been aware that it included a change to the NIL law.

“It’s devastating. It’s shocking. I’m flabbergasted,” law professor Darren Heitner told Sports Illustrated. Heitner helped author the NIL bill last year.

Prominent athletes and coaches widely condemned the amendment, calling on Governor DeSantis to veto it. But amid the heavy outcry, lawmakers reversed course within 48 hours, passing another amendment to restore the original July 2021 effective date.

The NCAA has said it plans to “modernize” its NIL rules, but delayed a vote in early 2021. NCAA President Mark Emmert has said the organization won’t punish athletes who earn NIL profits under state laws, but the Senator who introduced the amendment delaying the new NIL rules said he wanted written confirmation from the NCAA.

Sports Illustrated writer Ross Dellenger reports that the new proposal “does include language that would require Florida schools to leave the NCAA if the organization tries to punish schools for Florida’s laws, including NIL.”

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Troll Longhorn
5 days ago

This DeSantis guy is on point. Good for the athletes.

Last edited 5 days ago by Troll Longhorn
Reply to  Troll Longhorn
5 days ago

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.

The Importer AND Exporter
5 days ago

Edited comment below

Last edited 5 days ago by The Importer AND Exporter
The Importer AND Exporter
5 days ago

I haven’t had a chance to review the language, but heard on a call earlier that the provision about leaving the NCAA also extends to not being able to use public funds to be a member of any organization that can boycott the state. Need to spend some time digging into that…

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Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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