Republican Florida governor endorses bill allowing college athletes to earn money

Republican Florida governor endorses bill allowing college athletes to earn money
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisPoll: 51 percent of Florida voters disapprove of Trump States brace for massive voter turnout in 2020 When it comes to health care reform, look to the states, not the federal government  MORE (R) on Thursday put his support behind a bill in the state legislature that would allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness while they are students.

DeSantis’s support for Florida’s bill comes after California's governor signed into law a similar measure.

The Florida governor joked on Thursday that while he doesn’t typically look to California for policy decisions, the state is on “the right track” with this issue, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

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He added that he expects “issues” to arise as the state legislature seeks to pass the controversial legislation.

“I’m confident those issues can be addressed in a way that will maintain college athletics as a really special thing but also provide the ability for our student-athletes to be able to benefit just like anybody else would be able to benefit," DeSantis told reporters, according to the news outlet.

DeSantis, a former baseball player who attended Yale University, said if Florida were to join California in passing the law, it would pair “powerhouse” states in the push and potentially cause the NCAA “to reevaluate.”

If passed, House Bill 251 would allow Florida college and university athletes to be compensated through endorsement deals that use their names, images and likenesses. The bill will be considered during the 2020 legislative session.

Former Florida State University standout and NFL player Corey Simon spoke at Thursday's press conference and pushed back on opponents of the legislation.

“It’s not a gift. If I couldn’t play football, Florida State is not knocking at my door,” Simon said. “The nine shoulder surgeries and the two knee surgeries that I had while I was here, that wasn’t Florida State. Florida State wasn’t laying on the table, it was me.”

Similar legislation has been introduced in Washington state, Maryland and New York.