Beginning next summer college student-athletes in the state of Florida can legally make money through endorsements.
Friday morning Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law gives student-athletes the right to profit from their name, image and likeness. Unlike the similar laws passed in Colorado and California that will not go into effect until 2023, the floodgates will open in Florida beginning July 1, 2021.
During the signing ceremony DeSantis sent a message to all prospective college athletes.
“I just want to say Florida is leading on this and if you’re a blue-chip high school recruit out there trying to figure out where to go I think any of our Florida schools is a great landing spot,” DeSantis said, courtesy of The Athletic’s Manny Navarro. “For all of our great high school players, stay in state. I see people going to Alabama and Clemson and I know they’ve got good programs, but there’s nothing better than winning a national championship in your home state. So maybe this will be an added incentive.”
It didn’t take long for the University of Florida to include it in their recruiting pitch to prospects. Vero Beach four-star defensive end Keanu Koht, the No. 146 player in the 2021 recruiting class, shared the following photoshop just hours after the announcement.
— IX (@KeanuKoht) June 12, 2020
This step by the state of Florida opens the door for the NCAA’s nightmare scenario. Two weeks ago commissioners from the Power Five conferences formerly requested federal legislation to oversee the implementation of NIL rights across the United States. They spent over $350,000 lobbying Congress to create universal rules that can be applied nationwide.
The NCAA has recommended implementing NIL rights into its by-laws. Guidelines released in April could go into effect at the start of the 2021-22 academic calendar year, just after the new Florida law goes into effect.