Pending governor's approval, Florida high school athletics poised to change
The landscape of Florida high school athletics is poised to change starting next school year, but just how drastically remains to be seen.
The “school choice” legislation that lawmakers passed last month — and that awaits Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s signature — includes provisions long sought by the Republican-led Legislature to ensure that student-athletes have more freedom to play sports when switching schools.
Thanks to compromise during the legislative session, somewhat diminished are the fears from coaches and athletic directors, who worried the policy changes could unleash a torrent of transfers and create a system of free agency for high school athletes.
Lawmakers and some athletics officials agree the proposed law includes better safeguards to deter that from happening, although uncertainty still lingers over how the legislation will be implemented.
“We worked hard on this, as far as going back and forth on negotiations. At the end of the day, it was really about getting a fair outcome,” said Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah.