Florida Sen. Marco Rubio leading effort to compensate college athletes

Gov. Ron DeSantis also has backed the concept.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio leading effort to compensate college athletes
Photo via USF

With legislators in Florida and other states looking at allowing college athletes to get paid for endorsements, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and other members of the U.S. Senate said Monday they want to work on the issue nationally.

Rubio is one of five senators who announced a bipartisan “working group” to delve into the issue. “I look forward to continuing our work to ensure both athletes and college sports can continue to thrive,” Rubio said in a prepared statement. “Having 50 different state laws for compensating student athletes on their name, image, likeness would result in chaos and endless litigation. This bipartisan working group has a tough task ahead of us, but it is clear Congress must address this important issue.”

The group also includes U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah; U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga.; and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. In Florida, four proposals have been filed for consideration during the 2020 legislative session that would allow college athletes to be compensated through endorsement deals for the use of their names, images and likenesses.

Gov. Ron DeSantis also has backed the concept.

The proposals came after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a measure that, starting in 2023, would allow California college athletes to hire agents and sign endorsement deals. Florida’s legislative session starts Jan. 14.

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