Governors of South Carolina and Georgia on Thursday signed bills into law that would allow college athletes to get paid for the use of their name, image, or likeness.
The bills would allow college athletes to get paid in their respective states they play in, and they would block schools from rescinding scholarships in light of compensation opportunities for student-athletes.
"Simply put, college athletes should be fairly compensated for use of name, image and likeness," said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, according to The Hill. "As alumni myself, I'm a little biased, but think this will give Coach [Kirby] Smart every bit of help he needs to bring home a national championship, but that's my own personal opinion."
A summary of the Georgia bill HB 617 reads, according to Atlanta news station WSB-TV 2:
"A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 3 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to postsecondary education, so as to provide that student athletes participating in intercollegiate athletic programs at postsecondary educational institutions may receive compensation for the use of the student athlete's name, image, or likeness; to provide for application to intercollegiate athletic associations; to allow for professional representation of such student athletes participating in intercollegiate athletics; to provide for findings; to provide for definitions; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes."
The law would take effect July 1, but it would still need federal approval.
In South Carolina, a spokesperson for Gov. Henry McMaster told The Post and Courier, the decision to sign the bill, S. 685, was in the athletes' best interest.
"The governor's proud to have signed this bill into law to ensure that South Carolina's colleges and universities are well-positioned to immediately take advantage of opportunities provided by either the NCAA or congressional action."
The South Carolina legislation, according to the Courier won't take effect till May 2022. The NCAA needs time to develop a uniform policy to address off-field compensation.
Currently, collegiate athletes cannot be compensated for personal appearances, product promotions, or other projects even though the NCAA continues to make roughly $1 billion revenue annually.
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