FL Ag Commissioner Fried backs legislation to allow college athletes to be paid

View of Doak Campbell Stadium at FSU Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is among the growing list of Florida leaders who believe college athletes should be able earn outside income while playing their sports.

“As a former @UF @FloridaGators University Athletic Association board member, and a close friend to numerous former student athletes, I agree that it’s past time for @NCAA college players to earn compensation that recognizes their value and sacrifices, on and off the field,” Fried tweeted.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis endorsed the idea last week in a press conference, giving the issue a higher profile in the 2020 legislative session that begins in January.

With support from DeSantis and now Fried, the only Democrat holding a statewide office in Florida, the measure has bipartisan appeal.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have filed bills that would allow the student athletes to profit from the sale of products, such as sports jerseys, that bear their names, images, or likenesses.

The measures are patterned after a new California law, which was opposed by the NCAA.

The Florida Phoenix previously reported on the legislation in this story.