A proposal began moving forward Tuesday in the Florida House that would allow colleges and universities to steer endorsement deals and other compensation opportunities toward student-athletes.

The House Postsecondary Education & Workforce Subcommittee unanimously approved the bill (HB 99). The measure would make a significant change to a law, known as a name, image and likeness (NIL) law, that allows college athletes to get paid.

The Legislature passed the NIL law in 2020, and it went into effect in July 2021. Under the law, colleges and universities and their employees are barred from causing “compensation to be directed” to student-athletes. The proposal filed for the 2023 legislative session would eliminate that restriction.

Florida was one of six states that enacted athlete-pay laws that forbid schools and booster organizations from getting involved in athletes securing deals, a House staff analysis said.

“A female softball player or soccer player here at Florida State (University), if there was a business down the street and they wanted to connect and do an endorsement, do a sponsorship or something for that athlete, they wouldn’t be able to do that by reaching out to the university, boosters or anyone,” said Rep. Chip LaMarca, a Lighthouse Point Republican who sponsored the 2020 law and is sponsoring the new proposal. “This (bill) would allow them to do that.”

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