Florida State Representative Chip LaMarca (R – Lighthouse Point) released the following statement regarding today’s news from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and their continued inaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“The recommendations today by the NCAA are about protecting their pockets, not about student athletes. All we continue to hear are excuses from this multi-billion dollar, not-for-profit. Now they are shifting the blame for their deliberate inaction to the states that have passed meaningful legislation to protect students’ right to earn a living. It is absurd and shows they care more about protecting TV and apparel deals than they do about these young women and men who have worked their entire lives for this opportunity.
“The NCAA has blocked students from earning a living like their peers for far too long. When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs SB 646, Florida’s collegiate athletes will be liberated from these restrictions. But, every student athlete across the 50 states should be able to earn from their talent. If the third largest state can do it, then so can this collegiate organization. With a global pandemic challenging our economy, now more than ever students must have the flexibility to continue their education and provide for themselves and their families.
“As we watch these talented young people perform, many would be horrified to know that upwards of 19% of them are suffering from homelessness and 24%* are struggling with food insecurity. This picture does not reflect the utopian vision that the NCAA would have you believe exists in college sports today.”
The recommendations today included backtracking on group licensing, which would be allowed under SB 646. Another recommendation from the NCAA includes potentially regulating sneaker and apparel companies from entering into third-party advertising agreements with collegiate athletes.
LaMarca further commented, “The ability for individuals to group their commercial value together is a fundamental right of personal image rights. Their proposals reek of protectionism.”
*Study from the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University published on SI.com (04/21/20).