SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – College athletes in Georgia will now be able to profit off of their name, image and likeness.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed off on HB 617 Thursday at the University of Georgia. The new law, which applies to public and private institutions, goes into effect on July 1.
“It is well past time for college athletes to be fairly compensated for all that they do for our universities and our state,” Kemp said. “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.”
The legislation also allows student-athletes to hire agents who could procure endorsement deals on their behalf.
It also allows schools to take up to 75% of a student’s profits to be put into a pool for all athletes at the college. A share of the funds would be distributed when the student graduates or withdraws from the school.
California was the first state that allowed for such compensation, and dozens of other states have followed suit. South Carolina lawmakers introduced a similar bill this session, but the governor has yet to sign it.