The state of Florida’s exclusion of professional athletes from receiving workers compensation insurance coverage is forcing the Orlando Apollos to start practicing in Georgia at the beginning of March, Alliance of American Football officials told the Orlando Sentinel.
Although the situation admittedly isn’t ideal, league co-founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol said, “We really need to make sure we take the necessary steps to take care of our players. Our responsibility is always to do what we must do to make sure our players have the best available coverage.”
Starting sometime next week, the Apollos, according to team officials, will be housed in a hotel in Jacksonville for a little more than a month while busing 30 minutes over the border to practice at a high school in Kingsland, Ga. They will still play their home games in Orlando at UCF’s Spectrum Stadium.
AAF officials say the reason this is even an issue is because Florida, unlike many other states, will not cover professional athletes under its workers compensation laws. In Florida, professional athletes are not categorized as employees, which means state law prevents pro athletes from filing workers comp claims for injuries incurred while on the job. [Emphasis added]
Hey, the NCAA business model! Imagine that. I guess that means if student-athletes ever leave to play for the AAF in Florida, they’ll feel right at home.
I admit the side bonus of Spurrier having to bring his team to Georgia to practice is amusing as hell, though. Make yourself at home, Coach.