Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a new bill allowing college students to be paid for their name, image and likeness. The bill, which will go into effect on July 1, 2021, is the first of its kind on the state level. DeSantis made the announcement while speaking at the University of Miami on Friday.
In April, the NCAA announced it supported proposed rule changes from a working group to allow athletes to take advantage of these rights. According to the recommendations outlined, the new rules are expected to be written by Oct. 31 with a vote taking place no later than Jan. 31, 2021. NIL rights would then be in effect for the 2021-22 athletic season. However, that does not prohibit states from signing their own NIL legislation and DeSantis told reporters he wants Florida to be a nationwide leader on this front.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says state bill to pay college student-athletes for name, image and likeness will go into effect in July 2021.— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) June 12, 2020
“I think it really is Florida leading the way on this,” DeSantis said.
Other states could follow DeSantis' lead, putting more pressure on the NCAA to move forward. Last month, Power Five commissioners basically bypassed the NCAA and sent their own letter to Congress to light a fire under what they called a "timely issue." NCAA members want federal NIL legislation as a means to deter future lawsuits over the matter. Still, NIL rights for athletes are not universally supported by those within the Power Five ranks.
By signing a state NIL bill, DeSantis is showing that some are unwilling to wait for the NCAA's usual slow-moving bureaucracy to make its move. It would seem that based on Friday's bill signing that NIL rights will be a thing in some capacity for the 2021-22 season.