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Gov. Kemp signs athlete compensation bill into law

Other states already have provisions for athletes to be paid for their name and image
Other states already have provisions for athletes to be paid for their name and image(Governor's office)
Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT
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ATHENS, Ga. (WALB) - On Thursday, Gov. Brain Kemp signed legislation to ensure that student collegiate athletes in Georgia are paid for the use of their name, image, and likeness.

“College athletics are an essential part of the fabric of who we are as Georgians,” said Kemp. “It is well past time for college athletes to be fairly compensated for all that they do for our universities and our state. It is our hope that this bill will encourage more student-athletes to come to Georgia to receive both a great education and the opportunity to compete at the highest level.”

“As a diehard Georgia sports fan, I am so proud of the contributions that our student-athletes have made to our great state and look forward to cheering them on as we fully re-open and return back to normal,” Kemp, a UGA alumnus, added.

Kemp signed HB 617 at a ceremony in Athens.

The Georgia Southern University Athletics Department provided the following statement:

“Governor Kemp has signed into law House Bill 617, which allows student-athletes to earn compensation from their name, image or likeness starting July 1, 2021. As an athletic department, we have closely monitored the national landscape and have been in discussions about the future of NIL to make sure we are prepared to fully support our student-athletes. We will now begin implementing our plans to meet the requirements of the law and to provide each of our student-athletes with all the information they need to take advantage of these new opportunities.”

Savannah State University Athletics also provided a statement on Gov. Kemp’s signing of the bill.

“NCAA Division II has not issued a rules change regarding the matter of student-athletes receiving compensation for name, imagine or likeness, addressed in Georgia House Bill 617. In order to remain in compliance, and ensure future competition is not threatened, we must follow the NCAA rules in regards to the matter of NIL compensation. We are also seeking guidance from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) office on how this new legislation affects Georgia schools. We are awaiting decisions from these governing bodies before setting our internal policy.”

Watch the governor’s full remarks here.

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