"Mike Norvell, Billy Napier, FSU players and Florida players attended the NIL bill signing, stripping away restrictions put in place in 2020." (Photo and caption via @aadelsonESPN)

Governor DeSantis Signs New NIL Law

On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an amendment to the states Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) law that now allows coaches and school administration to play a role in facilitating deals for the student-athletes. The bill passed with a unanimous vote in committee meetings and in the house and senate. University of Florida football head coach Billy Napier and FSU football coach Mike Norvell were both in attendance as well as athletes from both schools.

Protecting Coaches

In 2020, Florida was one of the first states to allow NIL deals, but their initial legislation contained many restrictions to protect both the schools and players from NCAA’s rules. The new law also protects coaches and administrative staff from being liable for any impacts on the players ability to earn their money. For example, coaches cannot be held liable if a sponsor chooses to revoke a players NIL money after they are benched.

The law also requires that schools add a workshop on life skills, financial literacy and entrepreneurship for all athletes.

Future Impacts

In an ESPN article, University of Florida AD Scott Stricklin said “We are thankful for the Governor and the legislature for making this NIL bill a reality. We continue to be appreciative of all opportunities that our athletes have to be compensated for their name, image and likeness. NIL is a key ingredient to the Gators’ current and future success.”

Previously, many of the NIL laws in other states were less restrictive than Florida’s. These new amendments allow Florida schools to become stronger competitors in the recruiting market.

“This bill just says we’re going to follow the NCAA, but more importantly be on an even playing field with the rest of the nation as it relates to what other states are doing,” one of its sponsors, Sen. Travis Hutson, said during one of the special-session committee meetings according to the Tampa Bay Times.

About Shelby Hickman

Shelby Hickman is a student at the University of Florida studying journalism with a specialization in sports and media.

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