Pennsylvania and Florida Latest to Introduce Bills to Pay Student-Athletes

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The bandwagon keeps rolling — Florida and Pennsylvania have become the latest states to introduce legislation that would allow student-athletes to earn compensation through endorsements and sponsorships. Like the recent bill signed into law in California, which allows student-athletes to receive compensation for the school’s use of their name, image, and likeness, state legislators in Florida and Pennsylvania introduced their own versions of the Fair Pay to Play Act.

On September 30, 2019, Florida state Rep. Kionne McGhee introduced House Bill 251–a bill that would prevent the NCAA from blocking student-athletes from receiving compensation for the use of their likeness or name. The bill, if passed, would “[a]uthorize students participating in intercollegiate athletics to receive specified compensation; provides requirements for specified students, postsecondary educational institutions, certain organizations, [and] specified representatives; [and] creates Florida College System Athlete Name, Image, & Likeness Task Force.”

Similarly, on October 1, 2019, Pennsylvania state Reps. Dan Miller and Ed Gainey announced plans to introduce Pennsylvania’s version of the Fair Pay for Play Act. According to Miller and Gainey, their bill would largely mirror that of California’s; however, their bill would not apply to Pennsylvania community colleges. According to Miller, “Athletes are forced to give up their rights and economic freedom while the colleges make hundreds of millions of dollars off of their talent and likeness. This bill would help to balance the scales by allowing them to sign endorsements, earn compensation, and hire agents to represent their interests in exchange for the work they do, and the benefit provided to the college.”

Florida and Pennsylvania join a laundry list of states–including California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, and South Carolina–that have considered or introduced legislation that would permit student-athletes to earn compensation before their professional careers.

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