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Athlete Pay Law Could See Change

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A measure filed Tuesday by a House Republican seeks to allow colleges, universities and their employees to steer endorsement opportunities toward student-athletes. The bill (HB 99) was filed for the 2023 legislative session, which will begin in March. The proposal would make a major change to Florida’s athlete-pay law, commonly known as a name, image and likeness law, which went into effect in July 2021. Under the law, compensation for student-athletes “may only be provided by a third party unaffiliated with the intercollegiate athlete’s postsecondary educational institution.” Schools and employees, meanwhile, “may not compensate or cause compensation to be directed” to student-athletes. But the bill filed Tuesday would change that by allowing colleges, universities and employees to cause compensation to be directed to athletes. The proposal also would make clear that coaches and other employees are not liable for “any damages to an intercollegiate athlete’s ability to earn compensation for the use of her or his name, image, or likeness resulting from decisions and actions routinely taken in the course of intercollegiate athletics.” Rep. Chip LaMarca, a Lighthouse Point Republican who filed the measure, was a sponsor of a 2020 bill that led to college athletes being able to get paid based on their names, images and likenesses.

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