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UCF football coach Gus Malzahn ‘hopeful’ Florida won’t delay student-athlete NIL bill

FSU’s Mike Norvell and UM’s Manny Diaz have also spoken out against the potential Florida NIL bill delay

UCF head football coach Gus Malzahn (left) tweeted Thursday afternoon he is hopeful Florida’s original NIL plan will “stay on track.” The amended bill Florida lawmakers are pushing is now up to Gov. Ron DeSantis (right) to OK or veto.
UCF Athletics, Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday night that includes an amendment that would delay student-athletes’ ability to profit off their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) by a year.

UCF Knights head football coach Gus Malzahn tweeted Thursday afternoon he is hopeful Florida’s original NIL plan will “stay on track.”

“NIL changes are coming in the very near future. Here at UCF, we will continue to help our student-athletes in building their personal brands and capitalizing on their opportunities,” Malzahn said.

UCF linebacker Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste quote-tweeted Malzahn and added, “Gusbus.”

Should Gov. Ron DeSantis sign the bill, student-athletes in Florida wouldn’t be able to profit off their NIL until July 1, 2022 instead of July 1, 2021. Mississippi and Alabama recently signed NIL laws that go into effect July 1.

The bill and NIL delay, however, was sneakily tacked onto an education bill, along with a transgender athlete ban, forcing DeSantis to choose between hampering the college athlete issue he championed or vetoing it.

Malzahn’s tweet comes after UM head football coach Manny Diaz and FSU’s Mike Norvell rallied against the delay Thursday.

Diaz said the delay is “unacceptable.”

“@GovRonDeSantis must use his veto power to fix this,” he said. “While the rest of the states are moving forward to follow OUR lead, we inexcusably take a giant step backwards....”

“There is no reason to wait to do the right thing,” Norvell said. “The state of Florida was a leader on NIL and, as other states quickly tried to follow our model, college athletes in Florida have been able to position themselves to be ready to benefit starting July 1, 2021.”

Former UCF QB and Seminole McKenzie Milton also heavily championed the #KeepTheDate movement.

“Are we serious right now?? That little black line in a bill with more than 70 pages to continue to screw all these athletes?? Make it make sense. #NotNCAAProperty,” Milton tweeted with a photo of the two lines that would affect his — and seniors in the state of Florida’s — last year of eligibility.

Miami QB Deriq King also tweeted a statement, retweeted by UCF OL Chidoziri Maghiro, saying he was disappointed by the decision to amend the start date of the Florida NIL bill.

As of Thursday afternoon, no other UCF football players spoke out on social media regarding the Florida NIL bill.

Daniella Medina is a contributing writer for Black & Gold Banneret. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.