Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is supporting legislation that allows student athletes to earn profit from endorsements deals and products with their name, likeness or image while playing for their college sports teams.
Earlier this month, Rep. Chip LaMarca introduced the Student Athlete Achievement Act, which is similar to the bill signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
On Thursday, Gov. DeSantis jokingly stated that he doesn’t usually look to California for ideas on policies. However, he acknowledged that California is “on the right track” when it enacted the Fair Pay to Play Act.
In addition, the Florida Governor said the state legislature will likely face “issues” that will arise as it tries to pass the Student Athlete Achievement Act.
“I’m confident those issues can be addressed in a way that will maintain college athletics as a really special thing but also provide the ability for our student-athletes to be able to benefit just like anybody else would be able to benefit,” according to Gov. DeSantis as quoted by Tampa Bay Times.
NCAA will likely reconsider its policy
Furthermore, Gov. DeSantis believes that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will be forced to “re-evaluate” its policy if Florida follows California’s step.
Currently, the NCAA prohibits student athletes to make money from their association with college sports. The organization strongly opposed California’s Fair Pay to Play Act citing the reason that colleges and universities will have unfair advantage in recruiting since the rest of the states do not have a similar measure.
In a tweet, Gov. DeSantis wrote, “Most of Florida’s thousands of college athletes will never have the opportunity to play pro sports to generate income, yet still compete at a high level every day. If these athletes are good enough to compete on the field, they’re good enough to compete in the free market.”
Rep. LaMarca also tweeted, “Thank you @GovRonDeSantis for opening up the conversation for the Student Athlete Achievement Act (HB287), that would allow our great student athletes to participate in the #FreeMarket and be treated just like every other student.”