Florida House unanimously passes changes to pay for athletes

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The Florida House on Thursday unanimously passed a proposal that would allow colleges and universities to help connect student-athletes with endorsement opportunities.

The bill (HB 7B) is expected to go to the Senate on Friday as part of a special legislative session that started Monday.

The bill would revamp a current state law that allows student-athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses, or NIL.

Schools currently are prohibited from causing “compensation to be directed” to athletes.

The proposal would repeal that prohibition, which supporters say would help Florida colleges and universities be more competitive in recruiting athletes against schools in states that do not have such a restriction.

Rep. Chip LaMarca, a Lighthouse Point Republican who sponsored the bill, also cited part of the measure that would bolster financial-literacy education for student-athletes.

“This bill will allow Florida to remain competitive with every other state that our collegiate athletes compete against, while ensuring that we prepare them for their future, possible opportunities, and most importantly the tools to make them successful in promoting their individual brand — their name, image and likeness,” LaMarca said.

©2023 The News Service of Florida