Amateur professionalism, or professional amateurism?

Here’s something strange.

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.

11 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

11 responses to “Amateur professionalism, or professional amateurism?

  1. Bulldog Joe

    “Hey y’all, The Whitney and that new indoor facility I helped you build in Columbia…I’m gonna need that for about a month or so.”

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  2. Hobnail_Boot

    It’s part of the reason WWE has their training facility in Orlando.

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  3. CB

    “a high school in Kingsland, Ga”

    Home of everyone’s favorite Bobo qb recruit who would eventually serve as backup punter.

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    • Russ

      Yeah, I’ll never get over how Bama, Clemson, Florida and Florida State all tricked Bobo into offering him.

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      • CB

        Allow me to destroy this narrative once and for all.

        2013 QB offers
        – Alabama 13
        – Florida 10
        – Clemson 6
        – FSU 5
        – UGA 2

        Georgia is the only school that didn’t offer a single qb prospect ranked higher than Ramsey. The only other offer was to a 3 star Dual Threat who signed with Vandy.

        Offers barely mean anything in this day and age. Bobo is the only recruiter that made Ramsey a top priority. End of discussion.

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      • CB

        Unless of course you were being serious and suggesting that the schools you listed actually did trick Bobo into signing Ramsey with meaningless offers, in which case, you might have a point.

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  4. Reipar

    I always thought it was questionable to see the state of California paying joe Montana and bo Jackson every month for the rest of their life but to each their own.

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    • Mayor

      The NFLPA has a contract with the league whereby players are covered by a disability plan. If a players gets injured in practice or while playing in a game he gets a monthly amount in substantially excess of what workers compensation would pay. There are often fights about how much because the circumstances of the injury occurring determines the amount in large part. The reason for the WWE training in Florida can only be an effort to cheat the wrestlers if they do get injured.

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  5. JasonC

    It’s interesting that at least half of MLB has spring training in Florida with this law in place.

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