Jackson State vs. Alcorn State
Photo: Jackson State Athletics

The impact of Jackson State unexpectedly signing Travis Hunter after the No. 1 recruit was a firm Florida State commit, has already led to a lawmaker taking action against NIL.

Florida state Rep. Chip LaMarca filed a new bill Wednesday to alter the state’s name, image and likeness law to give area schools more freedom to negotiate NIL deals for athletes.

The bill, ironically, was filed hours after Jackson State landed Hunter, though LaMarca indicated that initiative had nothing to do with his motivation.

Also read: Can the NIL legislation even the playing field for HBCUs? Depends on who you ask

“I didn’t even realize it was national signing day,” LaMarca told Sports Illustrated. “I saw the FSU stuff and thought, ‘Well this isn’t an FSU bill,’ but this is interesting!”

LaMarca suggested that Hunter choosing Jackson State might have been influenced by a NIL agreement.

“What’s ironic, I’m both a Florida State and a Deion fan,” LaMarca said. “What is the reason to go from a program that was in the top-5 for 12 years straight with three national titles to a small HBCU in Mississippi?

“I’m assuming there is something in the works,” he said. “There had to be some reason, or maybe he’s just a highly sought-after recruit and Deion is good at his job.”

In the aftermath of the historic signing, there were theories that either Power 5 schools or the NCAA itself would attempt to dissuade an athlete of Hunter’s caliber from being enticed by an HBCU.


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