(CBSMiami)- Florida governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday that he is signing into law the proposed names, image and likeness bill that was passed by the Florida Senate in March. The bill, which passed by a 37-2 vote in the Senate, would allow athletes to sign paid endorsement deals beginning July 1, 2021.
With the governor’s signature, Florida would jump ahead of California and become the first state to allow college athletes to benefit from their name, image or likeness in endorsement deals. The California law won’t go into effect until 2023.
BREAKING: Florida @GovRonDeSantis is signing the college athlete name, image & likeness bill.
Effective July 1, 2021, college athletes in Florida can sign paid endorsement deals. FL jumps CA as 1st state to give athletes these rights. Honored to have been part of this effort.
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) June 12, 2020
The proposed bill received support from both parties with Republican Senator Rob Bradley saying back in March that the bill was “long overdue”.
“We send a very clear message to the NCAA, the SEC, the Big 10 — all these organizations — that we’re serious about doing the right thing when it comes to student-athletes,” said Bradley.
The legislation would affect two of the major NCAA conferences as Florida State and Miami compete in the ACC while Florida competes in the SEC. That’s not to mention the numerous other schools within the state that compete at all levels of NCAA athletics.
The governor took time to note at today’s press conference that any recruits looking for a school might want to think about coming to Florida.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on new NIL bill he signed today: "I just want to say Florida is leading on this and if you're a blue-chip high school recruit out there trying to figure out where to go I think any of our Florida schools is a great landing spot."
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) June 12, 2020
The NCAA meanwhile has brought the issue before Congress, hoping to gain traction on a federal NIL bill that might be more favorable towards the organization. However, the efforts there have been held up for several reasons, not the least of which is the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on how Congress is operating.