Senator Debbie Mayfield (R- Melbourne) has filed Senate Bill (SB) 798, titled, Baccalaureate Degree Access, to allow four (4) year state colleges to participate in 4-year sports programs.
Currently Florida Statute specifies that state colleges shall “not participate in intercollegiate athletics beyond the two (2) year level.” This outdated provision was written when state colleges were only permitted to be 2-year community colleges. Today, thousands of college students are seeking their bachelor degrees from one of Florida’s 28 state colleges.
This legislation would remove this condition from the existing statute, allowing state colleges the opportunity to implement 4-year athletic programs and retain talented student athletes.
Senator Debbie Mayfield says, “This bill will allow more student athletes an opportunity to attend college and participate in sports.”
Jeff Carr, Eastern Florida’s Athletic Director said, “Eastern Florida State College has approximately 2,000 students enrolled in 20 bachelor degree tracks. The allowance of Eastern Florida State College to participate in 4-year athletics will provide many more student athletes the ability to acquire the outstanding education provided by Eastern Florida State College greatly assuring their future success.”