Florida to Be 1st State with NIL Rights for NCAA Athletes to Profit Off Likeness

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 12, 2020

COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 4: A Florida Gators logo is seen on a chair during a game against the Missouri Tigers  at Memorial Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

College athletes in the state of Florida will be able to profit off their name, image and likeness starting in 2021. 

Per lawyer and former sports agent Darren Heitner, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an NIL bill Friday that will go into effect July 1, 2021. 

DeSantis spoke about signing the bill at a press conference at the University of Miami: "This whole issue of student-athletes and being able to receive compensations for their likeness or image is something that's been bubbling to the surface in the last couple years. I viewed it as something that was a matter of fairness."

California became the first state to implement an NIL bill when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law during an appearance on The Shop in September. 

The California bill won't go into effect until Jan. 1, 2023, so Florida will be the first state that allows college student-athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness through third-party vendors.

The NCAA has been hoping to involve Congress in the process of establishing a uniform NIL policy across the country to avoid potentially different rules in each state.

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Per the Associated Press, each of the Power Five conference commissioners sent a letter to Congress last month asking it to pass a national law setting NIL rules.

"I don't think it's indicative of anything other than our belief that the five of us bring substantial equity to college athletics and that our brands are strong," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told reporters about the letter.

DeSantis' decision to sign the bill comes after the NCAA board of governors announced last October it voted to begin the process of allowing student-athletes to benefit from NIL rules.

The board of governors asked all three NCAA divisions to establish an NIL plan to go into effect no later than January 2021.