Florida State University announced on Monday that it has launched a program within its athletic department to prepare for the state's name, image and likeness law set to take effect July 1.
As reported by WJXT in Jacksonville, the so-called Apex program involves for-credit courses, as well as assistance with athletes' social media reach. It is in response to Florida's Intercollegiate Compensation and Rights bill, signed by governor Ron DeSantis last June, paving the way for athletes to profit from NIL-generated revenue.
“I am extremely proud of the comprehensive nature of the Apex program,” FSU vice president and director of athletics David Coburn said in a release.
As reported by Tomahawk Nation, the release states, "The program is unlike any in college athletics. It was developed through a unique educational partnership with FSU’s Jim Moran Institute, the nation’s first stand-alone entrepreneurship college at a public university, FSU’s nationally renowned College of Business, and the Academic Center for Excellence, which will offer two for-credit academic courses that each include instruction on NIL-related topics. Apex will offer Seminole student-athletes the opportunity to elevate their social media reach by utilizing the services provided by INFLCR, an industry leading content creation software platform supporting more than 800 teams and more than 30,000 athletes."
“The cornerstone principle from the start of this process was to educate our student-athletes, and education plays a central role in every aspect of Apex," Coburn added. "We believe we are the only Power Five school in the nation that will offer two for-credit courses in NIL education. By partnering with the FSU College of Business, the Jim Moran Institute and INFLCR, we will provide a complete educational process from which our student-athletes will benefit immediately and throughout their lives.”
The program is expected to aid in recruiting, and not just in football — which many assume will garner the bulk of NIL benefits. According to Florida State, many of its athletes and teams enjoy broad social media exposure. For example:
- Florida State football has more followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook than any school in the state and the second-most in the ACC with more than 1.3M combined followers.
- Both FSU basketball programs have the most Twitter followers of any school in Florida.
- FSU’s main athletic social accounts have more than 770,000 followers.
- The FSU soccer Twitter account is the most followed of any collegiate program in the country, with former FSU soccer player Deyna Castellanos currently boasting 1.5 million followers.
- The FSU golf Twitter account is #4 among all women’s golf programs.
- The women’s tennis account ranks #6 and the swimming & diving Twitter account is the 8th-most followed.
- Three other FSU sport’s Twitter accounts are top 15 nationally and two more rank among the top 25.