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Georgia College Athletes Can Earn NIL Money Starting July 1 After Bill Signed

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2021

Georgia helmet in the air before a game against Georgia Tech of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brett Davis)
Brett Davis/Associated Press

Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed a bill into law Thursday that will allow NCAA athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness, per Seth Emerson of The Athletic. 

The law will go into effect on July 1. Florida, Alabama and Mississippi have already passed similar laws that will start the same day. 

Kemp explained his decision Thursday:

"It's just a different age. A different time. College football is so big now. The finances are so big. The players have a lot at risk. You’ve got other sports where people go pro right out of high school. I think this is the right step at the right time in the right direction to continue to protect the student-athlete but also give the athletes a benefit of what others are getting across the sports world."

According to Nick Bromberg of Yahoo Sports, the schools can take up to 75 percent of the athlete's income from endorsements and redistribute it in a pool for other athletes.

The University of Georgia said Thursday it will not take any money from the players.

"Student-athletes may earn compensation based on their name, image or likeness, beginning July 1. We have no plans to provide for a pooling arrangement," UGA compliance director Will Lawler told The Athletic. "In short, UGA student-athletes would not have to wait a year after they leave school to receive NIL compensation."

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The NCAA was initially planning to create its own rules for name, image and likeness rights, which would allow players to profit from a variety of avenues including endorsement deals, signatures, social media, video games and more.

The Division I Council delayed a vote on any changes in January while Georgia president Jere Morehead said Thursday that the NCAA will "sunset" its plans.

It puts pressure on the individual states and potentially the federal government to create laws that will legalize and regulate NIL rights.

Republican Jerry Moran and Democrats Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal have all proposed bills in the U.S. Senate that could create a standardized system nationwide.

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