desantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he supports legislature similar to the name, image and likeness bill. DeSantis also played college baseball at Yale.

The Florida House of Representatives gave the final legislative approval of a bill that could allow college athletes within the state to make money from their name, image and likeness on Friday night. It would take effect on July 1, 2021. 

The House approved the bill by a 98-14 vote. After passing through the Senate earlier this week by a 37-2 margin, the act was sent to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who in October endorsed such a proposal. 

Florida could join California in having this type of law if the governor approves the bill. If passed, Florida’s would take effect 18 months before California’s. 

The bill’s primary sponsor Rep. Chip LaMarca (R) said he wanted to create a standard for other states to follow. 

The bill outlines name, image and likeness (NIL) legislation as: “Compensation must be commensurate with the market value of the authorized use of the athlete’s name, image and likeness.” It does not define market value. 

It also says compensation related to NIL “may not be provided in exchange for athletic performance or attendance at a particular institution.” It does not address how it would be enforced. 

The bill goes on to say that a school, boosters and other fundraising groups can’t compensate current or prospective athletes. 

Florida lawmakers believe the bill has more of a reason to succeed because it does not directly address the NCAA, unlike California’s similar law, which expressly addresses the governing body of college athletics. 

Lawmakers in over 20 other states are proposing or considering NIL bills. 

The NCAA views legislations such as this as a violation of a commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution. The clause says only Congress has the authority to regulate commerce. 

“Wearing a school’s jersey shouldn’t mean choosing between using your talent and earning extra money to support your education,” LaMarca said on Twitter. “Gov. DeSantis has been a champion of this legislation since day one and I couldn’t be more thankful for his support. I look forward to the day the governor signs this bill into law.”

Follow Christian Ortega on Twitter @unofficialchris. Contact him at [email protected].

Christian Ortega is the lacrosse beat writer for The Alligator. He previously covered recruiting and basketball for Inside the Gators and was the editor-in-chief of Miami Dade College's The Reporter.