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Data: The Drake Group, via SI; Cartogram: Axios Visuals

Florida was set to be among the first states to allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness. But now they've run into a potential one-year delay.

Driving the news: Florida's NIL bill was set to take effect on July 1, 2021, but Sen. Travis Hutson (R) added a last-minute amendment into an unrelated bill on Wednesday that would push NIL back to July 1, 2022.

What they're saying: "No one was prepared for it," tweeted law professor Darren Heitner, who helped write the original bill.

  • "Legislators were searching for language in the Senate bill when it was rushed to a vote. 'Railroaded' is a word I keep hearing."
  • "There is no reason to wait to do the right thing," tweeted FSU football coach Mike Norvell. "The state of Florida was a leader on NIL."

Between the lines: Hutson told SI (subscription) the reason behind his amendment was to first secure a written pledge from the NCAA that no students would be penalized for legally profiting off NIL.

Yes, but: "I think there's absolutely no substance behind that statement made by Hutson," Heitner tells me.

  • "I asked so many people how could this possibly happen, why was it snuck in like that ... and I couldn't get a straight answer out of anyone."

The backdrop: Florida's NIL bill wasn't the first to pass (California's was), but it was the first with a 2021 start date, which kickstarted a bit of a trend.

  • Four other states have since passed bills that will take effect this July (Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona).
  • Six states have passed bills that will kick in as soon as Jan. 1, 2022 (Arkansas, Michigan, California, Colorado, Nebraska, New Jersey).
  • Three states are awaiting their governor's signature (Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina), and 17 have introduced a bill this year.

Go deeper: New laws, new rules bring big changes to college sports

Go deeper

Apr 29, 2021 - Axios Tampa Bay

Florida Republicans unexpectedly pass bill restricting trans athletes

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Florida Legislature unexpectedly passed a bill banning transgender student-athletes last night.

Why it matters: The legislation — presumed dead last week — is the first "categorically discriminatory anti-LGBTQ bill" to pass in our state in 23 years, according to Equality Florida.

Florida lawmakers pass bill restricting mail voting, drop boxes

Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida's Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would impose several restrictions on voting.

The big picture: The bill, passed by the state House on Wednesday, now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is expected to sign it. Florida is one of several states with GOP-controlled legislatures that have pushed to restrict voting access in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

WHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries

Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization regional director for Africa. Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The World Health Organization called on countries Sunday to not impose travel bans on southern African nations amid concerns over the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The U.S. and countries in Europe and the Asia-Pacific announced travel restrictions in response to Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa. It's since spread to several European countries, Canada, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong. The WHO noted in a statement that only two southern African nations have detected the new variant.