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Florida college athlete compensation rules taking shape

JUCO opening day
JUCO opening day(Natasha Lynn)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:48 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (News Service of Florida) - State colleges will have to provide financial workshops as part of a law taking effect July 1 that will allow student athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses.

Largely mirroring a proposal that will go before the state university system’s Board of Governors this month, the State Board of Education approved a set of rules Thursday to carry out the law.

The Board of Education oversees state colleges, while the Board of Governors oversees state universities.

On the Suncoast, this law will affect three schools that offer athletics: State College of Florida, serving Sarasota and Manatee counties; South Florida State College, serving DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties; and St. Petersburg College in Pinellas County.

Under the plan, the 28 schools in the Florida College System -- 24 provide intercollegiate sports through the National Junior College Athletic Association -- can’t prevent or restrict student athletes from earning compensation for the use of names, images or likenesses. “They (state colleges) also cannot provide compensation themselves, nor can any of their associations or organizations such as boosters or foundations. That can only be done through a third party,” Florida College System Chancellor Kathryn Hebda said. “And the statute puts some parameters around those individuals who could serve as agents, what their requirements are.”

Students must advise the school of any contracts. “The only requirement for that contract is it doesn’t conflict with anything that is part of the team contract where they’re playing sports,” Hebda said. School-funded “financial literacy and life skills” workshops must be provided to all student athletes, including those not seeking off-field compensation.

Hebda said the university system proposal doesn’t include financial literacy courses. But the university-system proposal, which will be discussed June 22 by the Board of Governors, includes trademark regulations that are not in the college package. The NCAA, the governing body for much of college sports, hasn’t ruled on whether student athletes can profit from their names and images.

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