DeSantis Throws Support Behind Student Athlete Pay

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Capitol News Service) - Governor Ron DeSantis wants Florida to follow in California’s footsteps and allow student athletes to profit from their images.

The governor weighs in on whether college athletes should be paid for their likeness. (WJHG)

The governor’s support is a big step forward for the legislation, but it’s not likely to help anyone currently playing at the college level.

Deyna Castellanos played in 26 matches for the FSU national champions.

She led the team with 10 goals.

She also has 1.2 million followers on Instagram, but under NCAA rules, there is nothing she can do to profit from her huge popularity.

The governor wants that to change.

“In a way that will maintain college athletics as being a really special thing, but also provide the ability for our student athletes to benefit, just like anybody else would be able to benefit,” said DeSantis.

Former FSU and NFL football player Corey Simon calls the current system unfair.

“And so with social media now, they created a platform to be able to sit in their room and generate money,” said Simon.

California was the first to pass like legislation.

The governor said adding Florida to the list gives the idea real weight.

“This is not like Delaware is doing this, these are really big powerhouse states when it comes to college athletics,” said DeSantis.

Even if the legislation passes this year it won’t take effect until 2023, which means anyone currently on the field likely won't benefit.

“They’re going to give the NCAA the opportunity to do what it needs to do to fix this issue. It has until 2023 and we’re just going forward,” said bill sponsor Representative Kionee McGhee.

This legislation is one of the rare instances where Democrats and Republicans agree.

Similar legislation has also been filed in New York.