California is close to ratifying a bill that would see the state's college athletes win the right to market their name, image and likeness, effective Jan. 1, 2023. Now, lawmakers in South Carolina are thinking of doing the same.
To be clear, South Carolina is a long, long, long way from reaching the point California's at today. The Palmetto State's effort is being led by a pair of Democratic state senators, Marlon Kimpson of Charleston and Justin Bamberg of Bamberg, who told The State they plan to file a bill similar to California's SB 206 in January.
Their bill would see "the state's biggest colleges" pay $5,000 a year stipends (on top of the existing cost-of-attendance scholarships) plus the opportunity to market their own name, image and likeness.
“The legislation passed in California is a sign of the times,” Kimpson told the paper. “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.”
Now, before one assumes this is simply a left-wing issue, remember that it was a Republican Congressman out of North Carolina who first brought the issue to Washington earlier this year. And South Carolina's effort has the support of the state Senate's Education Committee chairman, Republican Greg Hembree, who said the NCAA should move to the Olympic model.
“The NCAA is probably the organization that is going to have to change its mind and culture,” Hembree said.
Again, South Carolina is a long way from linking arms with California in its war against the NCAA's amateurism model. But a disdain for that model is now an issue that has support on both sides of the aisle.