ATLANTA | Student athletes in Georgia could see their pockets a little more packed if a pair of bills filed by state House Democratic lawmakers clear the 2020 legislative session.
One bill would allow college athletes to be paid for having their image or name used in advertisements. Another would set up an escrow fund students could draw from after graduating.
If passed, the Georgia bills would follow California’s “Fair Pay to Play Act” compensating athletes for commercial uses of their likeness. That act, which the California State Legislature passed last fall, takes effect in 2023.
House Bill 743, sponsored by Rep. Billy Mitchell, would overturn a ban in Georgia on paying student athletes for marketing work. The bill would not require schools to provide compensation, but it would let students sign marketing contracts and hire agents for business and legal representation.
“This is an idea whose time has come,” said Mitchell, D-Stone Mountain. “Georgia schools would be at a decisive disadvantage when it comes to recruiting with other states that join California in implementing this act if we fail to do the same.”
Deferring to University of Georgia President Jere…
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