Florida law will allow college athletes to take advantage of the name, image and likeness
TAMPA, Fla – College student-athletes help the NCAA generate billions of dollars every year.
“We did a lot of work, work that the fans don’t see. We do it, ”said Chris Oladokun, Florida A&M University quarterback.
Coaches sign multi-million dollar contracts and athletic programs get lucrative sponsorships, while student-athletes are being denied the fruits of their labor – until now.
A seismic shift is set to happen soon towards varsity athletics, and the state of Florida is leading the way with Senate Bill 646 – Compensation and Intercollegiate Athletic Rights.
“NIL stands for name, image and likeness,” said Darren Heitner, a University of Florida law professor who helped draft the bill. “It’s an easy way to shorten the kind of fees college athletes should expect at least in the state of Florida as of July 1, 2021.”
The bill will allow players to be paid for their name, image and likeness.
“The reason athletes do not currently enjoy these rights, which everyone on their campus is currently and always appreciated is because the NCAA has stipulated that they cannot make money with their name, their image. and their likeness, ”Heitner said. “They can’t make approval deals, they can’t host camps, or sign autographs.”
When this bill goes into effect on July 1, Florida student-athletes will be able to take advantage of all of these opportunities.
“The name, the picture and the likeness, I’m not against it,” said University of Florida football coach Dan Mullen. “I’m all for helping athletes get what they deserve. If you talk to our players, whatever we can legally get for you, we can get you and help you in any way we can. “
More lucrative individual deals could be made with athletes who are very popular on social media.
“Now with the NIL, being able to make money on yourself, like everyone else says, we are a brand,” Oladokun said. “Now we can create our own brand, create our own identity. I have always considered myself to be my own brand. That’s why I’m pretty active on social media. “
Student-athletes will earn third party money for their name, image and likeness. Schools, conferences, or the NCAA won’t pay them directly. But it’s even more likely that the best players in elite programs have a better chance of making money. This is where the non-profit organization “Fans for Fair Play” Between.
“98% of student-athletes never reach the professional ranks,” said James Davis, president and co-founder of Touchdown Strategies. “We’re talking about a very small percentage of people making it to the pros. These are the people who would benefit from the name, the image and the likeness. While the name, image, and likeness are a step in the right direction, it will only help those who already have a high chance of success. “
Davis’s goal is to give college athletes the same rights as other students – the ability to use their talents to generate income. He would like Congress to step in and drive a national solution instead of state-by-state laws.
“It shouldn’t be a horse race over who can make the best legislation to attract students,” Davis said. “Let the programs themselves attract student-athletes. I think we can all keep the game we love, we’re all passionate about it if we can get Congress together.
“The NCAA is now kicking the box and saying to the federal government ‘do something about this’,” Heitner said. “’Congress is doing something about it.’ We have about six bills that have been proposed on Capitol Hill. None of them advanced far. “
Until then, Florida’s NIL law will require colleges and universities to provide financial literacy training. Florida State University has started a program called “APEX”. The plan offers two NIL credit classes with help from FSU’s College of Business.
“We kept coming back to two big things: one is education,” said Jim Curry, FSU senior associate athletic director. “It’s really important for us to provide a solid education in this space for student-athletes. The second thing was to increase what we were doing from a personal branding and responsible use of social media perspective.
To date, five states – Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and New Mexico – have NIL law in effect with an effective date of July 1. In the recruiting game, this could be a game-changer.
“Do you think (Alabama football coach) Nick Saban was going to give other states and schools a competitive advantage?” Said Heitner. “Of course, he wants to keep Alabama at the top of the list when it comes to recruiting.”
“Now, in the days of the transfer portal, it’s going to be intriguing for the kids,” Oladokun said. “Let’s say you’re from New Jersey or Wyoming and you have the option of moving somewhere, or going to Florida, and possibly making some money from your name and image and likeness. It’s a recruiting pitch for Florida schools now. “