The effort to start allowing college athlete endorsements in Florida just became bipartisan


  • Photo via Adobe Stock
A second House bill, this time from a Republican, has been filed to allow college student athletes in Florida to be able to cash in on their names and images.

The proposal (HB 287), filed Friday by Rep. Chip LaMarca, R-Lighthouse Point, for the 2020 legislative session, is similar to a bill (HB 251) filed early last week by House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee, D-Miami. Both proposals seek to allow Florida college and university athletes to be compensated through endorsement deals.

The proposals resemble a controversial law signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The California law, which takes effect in 2023, allows student athletes to hire agents and sign endorsement deals. The students wouldn’t be paid by the schools. The NCAA has warned California that schools in the state could be blocked from intercollegiate events because the law could provide an unfair recruiting advantage.

“I look forward to working with our student athletes and university leaders on this important bill,” LaMarca tweeted Friday. “The time to act is now —- 2020 is the year that our student athletes will enter the free market!”

The 2020 legislative session will start Jan. 14. Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, questioned the proposal in an interview last week with The News Service of Florida. "My first impression is no,” Galvano said. “I think that you’re really blurring the lines of amateurism and professionalism."

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.