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Do Florida coaches support a name, image and likeness bill?

“If they can profit from their likeness, I think that’s fair," FSU football coach Willie Taggart said last week.
Florida State Seminoles coach Willie Taggart hugs wide receiver Keyshawn Helton as they celebrate after a beating N.C. State on Saturday. [MARK WALLHEISER | AP]
Published Oct. 1

Florida’s legislature will consider a bill that follows the one recently signed into law in California that will allow college athletes to make money off of their name, image and likeness through endorsements.

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You can read more about that bill here, or read the bill itself here. We’ll have plenty of coverage on it in the coming weeks. In the meantime, at least one major coach in the state is in favor of the idea.

Florida State football coach Willie Taggart admittedly didn’t know much about the California proposal last week but said then that he liked the idea.

“Whatever we can do to better and help our student-athletes is always a good thing,” Taggart said. “If they can profit from their likeness, I think that's fair…

“Times are different. You always hear people talk about doing what’s best for the student-athlete. We always do what’s best for them. I think them profiting from their likeness is good. I do think they should get it when they graduate. I think that’s the ultimate goal when you go off to school is to graduate, and I think personally — and I think we all know, we all graduated from school knowing that that’s when you need the money the most was when you graduate.

“But the goal is to graduate and get these young men a degree. It’s just a shame how many guys don’t get their degree, and I think with this bill, it would probably entice some guys to stay in school and make sure they get a degree. More importantly, just a win-win for the student-athlete overall if you do something like that. We can’t ever forget that they’re young people that haven’t gone through a lot of experience, and they’re going through it. We’ve got to help them through the process. So I think it would be a good idea as long as we continue to teach them and help them.”

USF football coach Charlie Strong said Monday that he wasn’t surprised that other states will be considering similar legislation to the one in California.

"We knew at some point that was going to happen, so now that California’s passed that bill, it will eventually just go across the other states…” Strong said.

“If a young man has done enough, and that’s what they look at now — for their likeness and how much they impact their program, because the program is making money — it’s something we’re not going to be able to stop. Since now that California has done it, it’s just probably going to sweep across the country.”

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