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State of Florida officially changes NIL law

Florida universities can get involved in facilitating NIL deals, contracts

OPED-CORONAVIRUS-FLA-SPECIALSESSION-EDITORIAL-OS Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The State of Florida has officially adjusted its Name, Image and Likeness law, remedying language that prohibited schools from being involved in NIL deals amongst other changes.

Last Friday, the Florida Senate voted 34-0 to send the bill to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk for him to sign, just a day after the Florida House voted 113-0 in favor of the new language for how NIL is conducted in Florida.

On Thursday, February 16, DeSantis’ signed the bill into law in a ceremony attended by group of athletes and coaches from the state, including FSU head coach Mike Norvell, quarterback Jordan Travis and soccer player LeiLanni Nesbeth

“I want to thank Governor DeSantis and all of our state representatives and state senators that have helped us get to this point,” Norvell said in a statement. “I appreciate their commitment to our student-athletes and helping us provide the best opportunities available. Our student-athletes have earned many unique opportunities since the original NIL law passed and we’re excited to offer enhanced support moving forward.”

The main change comes in the form of allowing universities to take on a greater role in facilitating deals for their student-athletes. Previously, school officials weren’t permitted to be involved in the process of NIL dealmaking, causing confusion and, in the eyes of many officials, putting Florida universities at a disadvantage when it came to the new world of college athletics. Last year, Florida State athletic director Michael Alford said that because of the restrictions, FSU couldn’t “compete with what our competitors in other states can do at this moment.”

Additionally, the bill carves out space to provide opportunities for financial literacy, entrepreneurship education, and other resources for student-athletes.

“Obviously cause compensation is the big issue that we’re all talking about, but for me, it’s not my top issue,” state representative Chip LaMarca said to Sports Illustrated. “My top issue is making sure that these kids playing all types of sports, both men and women, have the opportunity to have solid financial literacy and life skills training and nation-leading entrepreneurship training. That’s one of the biggest pieces, that we make sure these kids have access to really good training so they do good things when they have the opportunity to make some money.”

The full bill is available to read below: