Florida Governor Signs College Athlete Name, Image, and Likeness Bill

Florida Governor Signs College Athlete Name, Image, and Likeness Bill

Governor Ron DeSantis has signed Florida’s bill that allows college athletes to be compensated by third parties for the use of their names, images, and likenesses (SB 646).  The bill was approved by both the Senate and House in March.  However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the bill was not presented to DeSantis for approval until June 11.

While similar to California’s NIL law, Florida’s bill does have some differences.  Most notably, it specifies that NIL compensation may only be provided by a third party that is “unaffiliated” with the athlete’s university.  This language could prohibit boosters of a school from entering into NIL deals with that school’s athletes.  California’s law does not have a similar restriction.  It only restricts universities, conferences, and athletic associations such as the NCAA from providing “prospective” athletes with NIL compensation.  So it appears that under the California law boosters of a certain school would be free to enter into NIL deals with athletes at that school.   The NCAA’s NIL proposal that was released in April also contemplates allowing boosters to enter into NIL deals with athletes.

There is another notable difference between the Florida bill and the California law.  Florida’s bill requires that NIL compensation must be “commensurate with the market value of the authorized use of the athlete’s” NIL.  California’s law contains no limits on the value of a NIL deal.  The Florida bill does not specify who will determine whether a NIL deal is commensurate with market value, so presumably it would be up to each university to make that determination.

Florida is now the third state with a college athlete NIL law.  In addition to California, Colorado’s NIL bill was signed into law in March.  The California and Colorado laws are not effective until 2023.  Florida’s law is effective July 1, 2021, putting pressure on the NCAA to have its proposed NIL bylaws in place by the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year.  The enactment of the Florida law also puts pressure on Rep. Anthony Gonzalez and Congress to pass a forthcoming federal NIL bill.

More About Kennyhertz Perry’s Collegiate Sports Practice Group

The need for an attorney experienced in collegiate athletics has never been higher.  From assistance with compliance, eligibility, scholarship, and transfer issues, to advice and representation relating to the newly emerging name, image, and likeness laws and legislation, universities, conferences, coaches, and college athletes often need an attorney to advocate on their behalf and to assist and advise on these types of issues.

The team at Kennyhertz Perry is uniquely suited to guide universities and college athletes through all of these types of issues with respect to the multitude of rules and laws set forth by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the National Federation of High School Athletic Associations (NFHSAA).

The attorneys at Kennyhertz Perry all have years of experience advocating for clients in high stakes matters and advising them on related issues.  In addition, and most importantly, attorney Mit Winter is a former Division I scholarship basketball player with extensive experience working on collegiate athletics legal matters.  Mit has first-hand experience in understanding the pressures and demands faced by college athletes both on and off the field, and has represented a number of sports-related clients in his practice, including the Big 12 Conference, Conference USA, and the NCAA.

Mit is widely regarded as an expert in collegiate sports law and frequently writes on these legal issues.  He is also the founder and chairman of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Sports and Entertainment Law Committee and serves as a Regional Captain in the states of Kansas and Missouri for the Sports Lawyers Association’s (“SLA”) Outreach Committee.

Kennyhertz Perry’s college sports practice provides representation to those who are seeking an attorney with expertise to advise them on the myriad legal and compliance concerns prevalent in college athletics today.  To learn more about the firm, visit kennyhertzperry.com.

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