Two South Carolina lawmakers are following the lead of their peers in California and are introducing legislation that would allow college athletes to profit from their fame by earning endorsement money.
Senator Marlon Kimpson (D-Charleston) and Rep. Justin Bamberg (D-Bamberg) told The State last week that they plan to file a bill similar to California’s SB 206 proposal when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.
The State reports that the bill would allow South Carolina’s biggest colleges to pay athletes in profitable sports like football and basketball stipends up to $5,000. It also would give collegiate athletes — who can receive tuition and housing for their efforts, but not pay — an opportunity to earn money from sponsorships and autograph sales for the first time.
“The legislation passed in California is a sign of the times,” Kimpson said. “The NCAA is not an amateur sports league. This is a multibillion dollar sports empire where everyone involved makes money except the players on the field who earn it.”
The move comes as California’s so-called 'Fair Pay to Play Act' awaits final approval and the signature of governor Gavin Newsom.