ATHENS — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill on Thursday that will allow for student-athletes to start making money on endorsements and sponsorships starting on July 1.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia law paves way to pay college athletes
And at the University of Georgia, the plan is for the student-athletes to keep all of the money they receive despite a provision that would allow for the schools to take up to 75 percent of the endorsement income to redistribute at graduation.
“We have no plans to provide for a pool arrangement,” UGA depute athletic director Will Lawler said, per the Athens Banner-Herald.
Further, Lawler told The Athletic, “UGA student-athletes would not have to wait a year after they leave school to receive NIL compensation.”
The Georgia athletic department’s stance on not “pooling” endorsement money clears up what could have put UGA at a recruiting disadvantage.
Kemp went so far as to say the bill could bring Georgia football its first national title since 1980.
“I believe it sets Georgia to accomplish something that quite honestly should have been done a long time ago,” Kemp said. “I believe this is going to give coach (Kirby) Smart every bit of help he needs to bring home a national championship.”
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UGA entered into a NIL agreement last month with Altius Sports Partners, a group that will help educate the UGA student-athletes on the pending Name-Image-Likeness legislation.
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The student-athletes will receive instruction to better understand and maximize their personal branding. This, along with learning entrepreneurship basics and money management and social media skills.
“Education will be critical to prepare our student-athletes to thrive in a new paradigm,” Lawler said.
Kemp said the legislation is overdue.
“It sets Georgia on the path to accomplish something that, quite honestly, should have been done a long time ago,” Kemp said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Simply put, college athletes in Georgia should be fairly compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness.”
The NIL issue has been clouded where the NCAA is concerned to this point. The collegiate sports governing body has been unable to work with the federal government in providing national legislation that would govern the athletes’ NIL rights.
The NCAA Division I Council tabled voting on NIL proposal in January on account of “judicial, political and enforcement issues and a subsequent recommendation from NCAA President Mark Emmert,” per the report.
More than 10 states have signed NIL laws, including SEC states Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas and South Carolina.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said that, despite similarities between the states’ legislation, uniform governance is preferred.
“They’re not exactly the same, but at least there’s commonality,” Sankey said on the SEC Network, per a 247Sports report.
“Yet still, I’m of the opinion that we need congress to engage, which they’ve done, and actually enact a name, image and likeness-related law, so that we can have a common standard for the student-athlete economic activity.”