Standout student athletes may soon earn a paycheck for their accomplishments on the field or court. The Florida Senate voted 37-2 to send the Collegiate Athletes Bill of Rights to the house.
Florida is home to 13 Division I universities and more than 50 smaller schools and community colleges, and is one of two states currently considering legislation that would take effect next summer that would open the door for athletes to seek ways to cash in on their sporting success.
The bill would allow student athletes to seek out opportunities for pay, however, it prohibits schools from making it a requirement that students do so. It also will require universities and colleges to hold financial literacy and life skills workshops at the beginning of the athlete’s first and third year in school.
Two Republican senators voted against the bill: Senator Joe Gruters and Senator Keith Perry. Neither senator spoke during the debate this morning to explain why they were opposed.
The Florida House will now take up the companion bill sponsored by Representative Chip LaMarca, who is confident it will pass as favorably as it did in the senate.
“Today’s action in the Florida Senate gets us one step closer to ensuring our more than 11,000 Florida collegiate athletes have the ability to earn compensation on their name, image, and likeness,” said LaMarca, “While so many others profit off of young women and men, these talented athletes have been left behind by a system that is centered on greed. Today we are on the way to changing that. I look forward to getting this bill across the goal line for final passage in the House this week.”
Representative LaMarca introduced the bill this session with Senator Debbie Mayfield sponsoring the Senate version.
“When I first began this journey months ago my team did not expect the outpouring of support from legislative and community leaders. I cannot thank the countless students, parents, professional athletes, coaches, and directors enough. And a huge thank you to Governor Ron DeSantis for his early and steadfast support,” said LaMarca.
If passed, the bill goes to Governor DeSantis. If signed into law, it will go into effect July 2021.