- Florida’s Name, Image, and Likeness law could be updated and expanded during the next Legislative Session
- Rep. Chip LaMarca introduced a proposal that would allow a university or college to direct compensation to student-athletes
- Previously, a student-athlete could only receive compensation through third-party groups unaffiliated with a university
- LaMarca helped craft the state’s original NIL law in 2020 and 2021
Rep. Chip LaMarca filed a bill proposal this week that intends to update and expand Florida’s preexisting Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) law that allows collegiate student-athletes to receive compensation.
Under the bill, a university or college would be permitted to direct compensation to student-athletes. The proposal also exempts an institution or member of a coaching staff from liability for damages to an athlete’s ability to earn compensation.
Under previous restrictions, a student-athlete was only permitted to receive compensation through third-party groups unaffiliated with a university. Further, schools, coaches, or staff were barred from directly paying players for athletic performances.
“However, such institution … or employee of such institution may … cause compensation to be directed to a current intercollegiate athlete for her or his name, image, or likeness,” the proposal reads.
As the law is currently enforced, NIL deals are often brokered through outside organizations, which won’t hold an affiliation with a school but cater to its athletes.
For example, Florida State University (FSU), a state school with a large-scale athletics program, utilizes Rising Spear. The organization provides NIL opportunities to more than 175 FSU student-athletes in cooperation with businesses, community partners, and donors, but is not part of the FSU system.
Through Rising Spear, donors can contribute to the fund, which is dispersed among affiliated athletes.
“Rising Spear is a NIL organization that was formed to benefit student-athletes,” says the group. “It has two platforms: Gold Standard will be the normal NIL organization that will assist student-athletes to be able to engage in endorsements, appearances, and social media-type jobs. The second platform is Garnet Spirit, which is a non-profit organization that will arrange for student-athletes to do speaking engagements and coaching clinics for other non-profit organizations in their community.”
LaMarca helped craft the state’s original NIL law in 2020 and 2021.
On Jun. 10, 2021, the State Board of Education approved the rule that outlined the requirements and procedures to allow student-athletes within the Florida College System to earn compensation through means of NIL.
The rule also requires all student-athletes to complete financial literacy and life skills workshops.
“When we drafted this legislation, it was all about fairness for collegiate athletes, from men’s football to women’s softball, and every single athlete in between,” said Lamarca upon the original bill’s passage.