Senate approves college athlete compensation bill

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By: Capitol News Service
March 9, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) - College athletes would be allowed to profit off their name, image and likeness of a bill approved by the Florida Senate Monday becomes law.

Some lawmakers are concerned the bill goes too far, while others don’t believe it goes far enough.

The move by the Florida Senate comes after California the Florida approved a similar law last December.

"That's the first and third largest state. I think we send a very clear message to the NCAA, the SEC, the Big Ten, all these organizations that we're serious about doing the right thing when it comes to our student athletes,” said Senator Rob Bradley.

But Senator Randolph Bracy, a former college basketball player and one of the first lawmakers to get behind the student athlete pay movement isn’t completely satisfied with the end product.

“The very best athletes will be able to take advantage of it and the rest of them will just kind of be left behind. But they contribute just as equally to a team's success as any other person does,” said Bracy. "So I think it needs to be revisited, but I felt like it's a good first start."

There were two no-votes in the Senate.

Senator Keith Perry expressed concerns that endorsements could be used as recruiting tools. “It's not going to be about academics, it's not going to be able the school culture . It's not going to be about those things, It's going to be how much am I going to get offered,” said Perry.

But Senator Bracy believes the good in the bill outweighs recruitment concerns.

“Florida being now the second state to approve this kind of measure, I think it gives us an advantage, but I mean I think we should do it so I have no problem with what we did today,” said Bracy.

The bill now heads to the House, which is likely to send it to the Governor later this week.

The legislation won’t go into effect until July of 2021 in order to give the NCAA time to develop its own rules surrounding student athlete compensation.