Of course this is happening.
Within the marble halls of the Mississippi State Capitol, the topic of college football is never far away.
Home to two of the SEC’s plucky underdogs, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, legislators here are always striving to make up ground on neighboring states that have more historic football powerhouses. In fact, last summer, lawmakers replaced their state flag after the NCAA and SEC banned the Rebels and Bulldogs from hosting athletic championship events in a state whose flag brandished the Confederate battle symbol.
Nine months later, another piece of college sports-themed legislation is working its way through this building. This time, a bill that would grant Mississippi college athletes rights to earn income from their name, image and likeness (NIL).
Some legislators here are even pushing through the bill despite their own opposition to it.
“I don’t think any state is happy about this legislation, but we’re seeing this as a necessity,” says C. Scott Bounds, a Republican member of the Mississippi House of Representatives who’s helping oversee the bill’s journey through the state’s legislative process. “We don’t want to lose a competitive edge in recruiting, both athletically and academically, especially against those in the Southeastern Conference.”
I’m not sure what Georgia’s waiting for, to be honest. After all, Alabama’s already got three (!) NIL bills in the hopper, scheduled to go into effect a couple of months after the governor signs. Plus, “Alabama’s bill gives athletes the option to participate in NIL or receive $10,000 a year from the school.”