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All FL College Athletes Required To Complete Financial Literacy Course

TCC Athletics.jpeg
Northwest Florida State College Athletics
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) recently named Tallahassee Community College basketball player El Ellis "First-team All-America." Ellis has signed with the University of Louisville.

Completing a financial literacy course is a new requirement for all Florida college athletes.

The State Board of Education has adopted a rule that requires all athletes enrolled in a two-year degree program to learn life-skills, money management and how to enter into third-party contracts.

"We think those things will be very, very beneficial to our students, whether or not they determine that they want to earn compensation for their name, image or likeness,” said Division of Florida Colleges Chancellor Kathy Hebda.

The board's rule change complies with a new state law that allows student athletes to earn compensation from their name, image and likeness starting on July 1st.

Hebda says the rule goes beyond the new state statute and requires all student athletes to complete a financial literacy course, even if they aren't earning money from paid endorsements, she said.

"We thought it was important for all of the athletes to have benefit of that financial literacy course because they could in fact determine at anytime they wanted to participate in a compensation program with a third-party, and that way they would have the background information," Hebda said.

Twenty-four of the state’s 28 two-year institutions offer intercollegiate sports programs, she said.

The Florida Board of Governors will also consider adopting rules to implement the new state law for university athletes at its meeting next week (June 22 - 23). Its proposed rues don't require university athletes to complete a financial literacy course.

Hebda says college athletes who continue playing sports at a university or professionally can carry the financial literacy skills they learn in their two-year program with them.

"A number of them do go on to four-year institutions. We’ve had different students participate in the Olympics in the past," Hebda said. "It's great for our students."

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which governs university and college sports, has been seriously considering allowing student athletes to secure paid endorsements for the last couple of years, but hasn't yet updated its bylaws. The NCAA Division 1 Council will vote on the issue next week (June 22-23).

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.