Today’s entry: I heard you talking about the college pay bill but I’m still not clear on how it’d work and how athletes would get paid.
Bottom Line: I get it and even the reference of paying college athletes is confusing because that’s not what this proposal, or any across the country, would do. The proposal would allow athletes to earn compensation based on their status as college athletes, but it wouldn’t lead to any athletes automatically receiving compensation for their services. Representative Chip LaMarca’s Student-Athlete Achievement Act is Florida’s proposal that would make it legal for collegiate student-athletes to receive compensation. If passed, as currently proposed, here’s what it would do.
All college athletes will be eligible to earn compensation based on their athletic status.
The first distinction is that colleges wouldn’t be compensating athletes beyond existing scholarships that are provided. Any earned compensation would come from outside of the colleges. How would that work? College athletes would be allowed to earn compensation from third parties based on their likeness and talent. This opens the door for college athletes to land sponsorship deals, sell products with their likeness, sign autographs for money, host training camps, etc. It’d also close a loophole that doesn’t allow any NCAA athlete to win prize money from any entity. Important to this conversation, athletes wouldn’t be allowed to use the school’s name or likeness. They have to be marketable of their own personal accord. Also, it’s worth noting that if this bill becomes law it will take effect within the next year, unlike California’s which doesn’t phase in until 2023.
Now here's a reality check. There are 450,000 collegiate student-athletes, about 11,000 of which are in Florida. How many can you name? I think there’s a tendency to associate this bill with lots of student-athletes earning huge money like the pros. Realistically, elite athletes from the highest-profile programs, in the highest-profile sports, are the ones with the potential to strike it big should this law take effect. For almost all student-athletes, its biggest impact will likely be making a few bucks here and there coaching others if they’re inclined. Along with righting a perceived wrong to deny that ability according to many, including Governor DeSantis. He’s pledged support for the legislation and there appears to be bipartisan support giving it a better than not chance of passing this state session.
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