Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Signs Bill Allowing College Athletes to Receive Pay

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs legislation allowing student-athletes to control and earn money off their name, image and likeness during a ceremony at the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium. (Joshua L. Jones, Athens Banner-Herald USA TODAY NETWORK)

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill on Thursday that would allow college athletes to receive pay when their “name, image, or likeness” is used.

The legislation, H.B. 617, states that “participation in intercollegiate athletics should not infringe upon the rights of student-athletes to have control over” their own names and any profit that is incurred from them. The funding will be placed in an escrow account and will not be available for use until the athlete departs from college.

“It was great to be back at the University of Georgia today to sign HB 617, which allows college athletes to be fairly compensated for their contributions to our state,” Kemp wrote in a tweet shortly after signing the legislation. “Go dawgs!”

The rule change, which applies to all universities and colleges in the Peach State, including private institutions, also mandates schools conduct “a financial literacy and life skills workshop for a minimum of five hours at the beginning of the student athlete’s first and third academic years.”

The bill previously cleared the state House by a wide 43-8 margin and passed through the state Senate via an overwhelming 163-5 vote. The legislation made its way through the Georgia General Assembly before it hit Kemp’s desk.

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SOURCE: The Washington Examiner, Jake Dima

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