COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – Wednesday morning, a South Carolina Senate education subcommittee moved forward with legislation that would allow college student-athletes in the state to profit off their name, image and likeness.
An amended version of the bill received a favorable report from senators on the subcommittee.
The bill would allow student-athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL) by third parties unaffiliated to their schools.
South Carolina lawmakers said this would open up the door for endorsement deals, autograph deals, and social media influencer campaigns.
Both Athletics Directors from the University of South Carolina and Clemson spoke to a panel of lawmakers about the legislation. They voiced their support for the bill.
UofSC Athletics Director Ray Tanner said, “It’s the right thing for all of our student athletes across the country to have this opportunity to engage in name, image and likeness.”
He said it could offer schools in South Carolina a slight recruiting advantage. Officials said six other states have passed similar bills and two dozen other states considering NIL legislation right now.
Clemson Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said, “I think our student athletes are very much interested and intrigued. I think they want to learn more to see how this process will work and once they learn that they’ll look at ways that it will best benefit them.”
Some Senators said they support the bill but would like to see student athletes compensated for their time. Senator Marlon Kimpson (D-District 42) said, “People say, ‘Well, they are on scholarship. How is it any different from a chemistry student who is on scholarship and able to do a work study and get compensated for that study? They’re on scholarship too.”
Both Radakovich and Tanner said they are not aiming for pay-for-play legislation.
The NIL bill is now in the full Senate Education committee.