ATLANTA — A group of Georgia lawmakers would like to show college athletes the money.
The student athletes could see certain types of compensation under the provisions a new bill.
State Rep. Billy Mitchell, D-Stone Mountain, announced Wednesday that he will introduce legislation in the upcoming session that would allow college athletes to be paid for use of their name, image and likeness.
The bill follows other states which are snubbing NCAA rules that prohibit college athletes from receiving compensation from outside sources. Mitchell's legislation is modeled after California's "Fair Pay to Play Act" which was recently signed into law. Other states pushing the change include Florida, Minnesota, South Carolina and New York.
“With this legislation, Georgia hereby joins a rapidly growing number of states that have filed similar legislation, or are in the process of doing so, including Florida, New York, South Carolina and Minnesota,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Not only is this an idea whose time has come, but Georgia schools would be at a decisive disadvantage when it comes to recruiting with other states that join California in implementing this act, if we fail to do the same.”
The proposed legislation would also allow athletes to hire agents to handle business and sponsorship opportunities. Schools would be prohibited from removing the student athlete's eligibility if they get paid but outside contracts cannot conflict with the athlete's collegiate team contract. Both private and public institutions are subject to the bill.
In an interview with the IndyStar, Mark Emmert, NCAA president, responded to California's bill being signed into law turns student athletes into employees.
"This is just a new form of professionalism and a different way of converting students into employees," Emmert said. "(They may be) paid in a fashion different than a paycheck, but that doesn't make them not paid."
Emmert also argued that it would make no sense for the NCAA to oversee national tournaments and national championships if each state creates it's own laws surrounding student athlete endorsement deals.