SUNSET, S.C. — Clemson basketball coach Brad Brownell said he and other coaches knew it was a matter of time before the-pay-to-play college athletes became a reality in collegiate athletics.
This past Monday, California became the first state to allow college athletes to be paid when Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill allowing players to receive endorsement deals for their image or likeness.
Other states are trying to pass similar bills, including South Carolina, to force the NCAA’s hand when it comes to paying its student athletes. Senator Marlon Kimpson first brought up the bill in 2014 after former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore saw his career end due to a severe broken leg back in October of 2012.
The Charleston Post & Courier reported Tuesday Kimpson plans to re-introduce the bill in January, adding that athletes receive financial assistance from third parties for their image and likeness. He also plans to keep the original language of his 2014 bill, which states athletes would earn $5,000 for each year they participate in their sport while maintaining good academic standing. The money would go into a trust and be award in a lump sum after they graduate. It will be capped at $25,000.
On Wednesday, as he hosted his annual media golf outing at The Reserve on Lake Keowee, Brownell said it is hard to know exactly what is going to take happen and how the NCAA is going to respond.
“That is hard one. I think we are kind of trying to guess what is going to happen next,” Clemson’s head coach said. “I felt like we all thought at some point we were probably going to get to this. It is good that it is a couple of years away. Certainly, our people and administrators are on top of it like most people.”
The California bill is expected to go into law on January 1, 2023, so there is still some time for the NCAA to figure out how it is going to combat this new law in California and possibly other states before 2023.
“I think it is more just wait and see right now,” Brownell said. “I don’t know if any of us know what it looks like. You can read all the things that people have said. It is going to lead to this and that, but at the end of the day, I think wait and see a little bit is our best approach.”
Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney said earlier this week he isn’t informed well enough to comment on the California bill.
“I don’t have no thoughts,” Swinney said. “My thoughts are getting ready for Florida State. That is it. There are people a lot smarter than me to figure out all of that stuff. I think that is a long time out.
“I don’t know enough about it, really, and I don’t need to. It does not affect me at all. I’m focused on trying to get ready for the ‘Noles.”
The Clemson football team is off this week before hosting FSU on Oct. 12 at Death Valley. The men’s basketball season tips off on Nov. 2 against ACC foe Virginia Tech.
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