Here’s an unsurprising development, at least to me:
A bill passed by the Georgia legislature last month that would allow athletes in the state including those at UGA to be paid for the use of their name, image or likeness awaits Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature.
Georgia athletic officials are already preparing for a new world for their athletes when it comes to them being able to profit from the change as early as July 1 under an arrangement it’s made with Altius Sports Partners.
The firm, headed by a former vice president of business and legal affairs for the NFL Players Association, is already preparing UGA athletes to understand NIL policies and to monetize their intellectual property. They are doing that through workshops over the next year on personal branding and business formation and opportunities with social media posts, autographs, personal appearances, camps, clinics and such merchandise as T-shirts and bobbleheads.
As Weiszer notes, Kemp still hasn’t signed HB 617, but yesterday, Arkansas’s governor signed that state’s NIL legislation, which is scheduled to go in to effect January 1, 2022. (Florida’s, Mississippi’s, and Alabama’s laws go into effect July 1.) That ‘crootin’ window won’t stay open on its own, Governor. But I digress.
Here’s a likely taste of what’s coming to ruin college football for some of y’all.
Schwab said Georgia’s more than 500 athletes all will have opportunities at least to receive performance gear and apparel for posting about it on social media or snag a free pizza or shoes at a local establishment by taking a photo there and tagging it on their personal accounts.
He doesn’t think that will mean “life-changing dollars,” but it can mean free merchandise and some extra cash for many.
“If you think about where a lot of the athletes at the University of Georgia are from, their hometowns are small towns,” he said. “Going back to their small towns, they’re superheroes. I don’t care if you’re the starting quarterback on the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team or you’re the backup tight end of the backup women’s basketball point guard, it doesn’t matter what sport you play, you’re going to be a superhero in your hometown.”
And Kirby Smart’s encouraging that! Doesn’t he realize he’s sowing the seeds of his own destruction?