This morning, California governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act into law, allowing athletes who attend college in the state to earn money off their names, images, and likenesses starting in 2023. With this law, players will now be able to hire agents, sign endorsement deals, and accept paid youth coaching positions.
This evening, Steve Berkowitz of USA Today is reporting that the state of Florida also proposed a bill relating to college athletes’ name, image, and likeness, with Fla. Rep. Chip LaMarca adding that another bill on the matter is coming.
Florida joins list of states where a legislator has proposed bill relating to college athletes' name, image and likeness, and spokesman for Fla. Rep. Chip LaMarca says another bill is coming pic.twitter.com/cp90v7Obqb
— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) September 30, 2019
The bill “authorizes students participating in intercollegiate athletics to receive specified compensation,” “provides requirements for specified students, postsecondary educational institutions, certain organizations, and specified representatives,” and “creates Florida College System Athlete Name, Image, and Likeness Task Force.”
According to the release, the bill, if signed, will go into effect on July 1, 2020, two-and-a-half years before the California bill is expected to go into effect (January 1, 2023).
Last week, NCAA president Mark Emmert told a group of Division I athletic directors that granting players likeness rights is an ‘existential threat’ to college sports and earlier this month, the NCAA informed Governor Newsom that if the law is adopted, the organization could declare all student athletes at the 58 NCAA schools in the state of California ineligible.
After the California bill was signed, the NCAA released the following statement on the matter:
As a membership organization, the NCAA agrees changes are needed to continue to support student-athletes, but improvement needs to happen on a national level through the NCAA’s rules-making process. Unfortunately, this new law already is creating confusion for current and future student-athletes, coaches, administrators and campuses, and not just in California.
We will consider next steps in California while our members move forward with ongoing efforts to make adjustments to NCAA name, image and likeness rules that are both realistic in modern society and tied to higher education.
As more states consider their own specific legislation related to this topic, it is clear that a patchwork of different laws from different states will make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playing field for 1,100 campuses and nearly half a million student-athletes nationwide.