Miami-Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has signed a bill into law that would allow college student-athletes to make money off their name or likeness, making Florida the first state to do so. DeSantis couldn’t have picked a better backdrop than the indoor training facility at the University of Miami in Coral Gable, Florida.
With banners of past Hurricane Football greats hanging from the rafters above him, DeSantis, who was joined by Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, state Sen. Debbie Mayfield (D), Reps. Chip La Marca (R) and Kionne McGhee (D), and several current and past collegiate athletes, sat and signed the bill into law.
“We’re not talking about, you get a scholarship to Florida State and Miami and the universities are gonna pay you to play. That’s not what we’re talking about,” DeSantis said. “But if you have a situation where you have some of the great athletes, particularly in sports like football and basketball, whose name, image, and likeness is being used to make millions and millions of dollars, and they don’t have the opportunity to get any of that, there’s something fundamentally unfair for that.”
Students will now be able to sign endorsement deals but will have to wait until the law kicks on July 1, 2021.
DeSantis’ signing Sen. Mayfield’s SB 646 into law but wasn’t without the help of Rep. Chip LaMarca, who offered a similar bill on the House side.
“Florida will now afford our state’s 11,000 collegiate athletes the ability to earn a living, the same as their fellow students,” stated Rep. Chip LaMarca “ For far too long, the collegiate athletic system professionalized everyone associated with athletics except for the young women and men who put in all the hard work. Today, we changed that. Thank you to Gov. DeSantis for standing with Florida’s collegiate athletes.”
Rep. LaMarca recently tackled the NCAA for their “protecting their pockets” and not looking after the student-athletes.