Friday afternoon update: The Florida Senate committee voted unanimously to repeal the state’s name, image and likeness (NIL) law. It will go into effect if and when it’s signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. You can read the latest here. Thursday’s original story is below.
The Florida House of Representatives quickly approved a bill Thursday that would effectively repeal the state’s name, image and likeness (NIL) law.
The 113-0 vote during the special session was uneventful and without public objection. The bill, HB 7B, next moves to the Senate, where it’s also expected to face little opposition. An identical bill (filed in the regular session) breezed through a Senate committee Wednesday.
“This bill,” its sponsor, Rep. Chip LaMarca, said, “will allow Florida to remain competitive with every other state that our collegiate athletes compete against while ensuring that we prepare them for their future, possible opportunities and most importantly the tools to make them successful in promoting their individual brand — their name, image and likeness.”
Florida is not competitive, the Republican from Lighthouse Point has argued, because Florida’s law is more restrictive than some other states. Specifically, it prohibits coaches, schools and support organizations from directing name, image and likeness compensation toward players. That could be a disadvantage in recruiting — one that also means fewer opportunities for state athletes. Teams and coaches will still have to follow NCAA rules, which ban pay-for-play deals, paying players directly and using NIL offers as recruiting or retention inducements.
The bill has two other components. It requires schools to add a second workshop for athletes on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and life skills. It also protects teams and coaches from a liability standpoint if their routine decisions (like benching for performance reasons or suspending a player after an arrest) affect that player’s name, image and likeness deals.
Other than LaMarca, the only member who spoke was Rep. Hillary Cassel. The Democrat from Dania Beach offered her support as the sister of a former UCF baseball standout.
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