TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — In Nov. 2022, Florida State University football fans stormed the field after beating their long-time rivals, the University of Florida Gators. It was the first time tens of thousands of students crammed onto Bobby Bowden Field in 26 years, but it may be the last, if a bill written by a former FSU football star and Florida state senator passes.
On Tuesday, Sen. Corey Simon (R-Tallahassee) introduced SB-764, which would penalize anyone who “interferes” with live sports or other entertainment before, during, and after an event.
You can read a summary of the bill below:
“An act relating to interference with sporting or entertainment events; creating s. 871.05, F.S.; defining terms; prohibiting certain actions during covered sporting and entertainment events; providing criminal penalties; prohibiting a person from profiting or benefitting from violations; providing for forfeiture and distribution of profits from a violation; providing an effective date.”Florida SB-764
The bill states that anyone who “knowingly enters or remains unlawfully upon the covered
area of a sporting or entertainment event,” throws things onto the field or stage, or touches a participant would be slapped with a misdemeanor charge. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year of jail time.
The bill also states that “a person may not attempt, aid, abet, or conspire with an individual to commit a violation,” and any profit made from violating the law must be forfeited to the state. Forfeited funds would be “distributed in the manner provided in s. 944.512 as if the violator or person colluding with the violator was a convicted felon for purposes of that section,” the proposed bill states.
An identical bill (HB-319) was filed in the Florida House of Representatives by Rep. Taylor Yarkosky (R-Montverde) in January.
If passed, both laws would take effect October 1, 2023. You can read the full text of SB-764 here.
Corey Simon was a defensive lineman at Florida State, where he was a consensus All-American in 1999. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans before retiring from professional football in 2007.
In 2022, he defeated incumbent Democrat Loranne Ausley in the Florida senate District 3 race. He is the first Black Republican to serve in the Florida senate since the Reconstruction era.