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Bill to let SC college athletes make money heads to governor

April 28, 2021 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A bill allowing college athletes in South Carolina to make money or other benefits from their names and images is on its way to the governor’s desk.

The House passed the bill 103-15 on Wednesday with supporters saying it was critical to get it out as quickly as possible because Florida’s law allowing athletes to cash in goes into effect this summer, and nearby states with teams that compete with Clemson and South Carolina are also close to passing similar proposals.

“We’re surrounded,” Rep. Tim McGinnis, a Republican from Myrtle Beach.

The bill allows athletes to be paid from outside organizations for autograph sessions, guest appearances, sponsorships or other events that use their name, image or likeness.

Athletic department leaders from Clemson and South Carolina as well as other schools backed the legislation.

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If Gov. Henry McMaster signs it, the law would not go into effect for a year to see if the NCAA itself or Congress settles the matter.

Rep. Jermaine Johnson detailed his day from waking up at 5:30 a.m. through practice, workouts, classes and studying back when he played basketball for the College of Charleston a decade ago before voting for the bill.

“You have no time for an outside job,” the Democrat from Columbia said.