There is still a lot that needs to transpire before student-athletes in South Carolina can receive compensation for their name, image and likeness.
But the Palmetto State took a huge step in the process on Monday when Governor Henry McMaster officially signed the state’s NIL bill into law at the Nieri Center in the West End Zone of Memorial Stadium in Clemson.
Several Tiger athletes attended the ceremony to witness a piece of history in intercollegiate athletics.
Defensive end and Clemson graduate K.J. Henry attended the ceremony and while the NIL likely won’t have a huge effect on him in college he is excited for the next generation of student-athletes.
“It could be a game changer for the competition level at each university in each state,” Henry told The Clemson Insider. “As a student-athlete I feel like we are very deserving of making money off what we bring to the table on and off the field. This is very exciting whether it’s for me or the people down the road it is a step in the right direction.”
Five states including Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and New Mexico previously signed NIL bills that take effect on July 1, 2021. But South Carolina’s will not impact intercollegiate athletics until July 1, 2022.
The reason Governor McMaster and other state representatives gave for the later start date is so that the other states have to work out the kinks for a year and South Carolina can learn from their struggles.
Henry likes the state’s strategy and thinks it will help everybody get on the same page.
“I think a lot of people have their own opinion on the situation so it’s good to hear we are taking a little time to make sure we do it right,” Henry said. “Like you said it has been a long time coming so it’s definitely a great day for us.”
For now, Henry is not too worried about the NIL but knows that Monday was a huge day in the history of college athletics and for his Clemson teammates.
“Speaking for myself and a lot of us, this is big, and we are excited,” Henry said. “Obviously, we don’t know a lot about the whole bill in itself but it’s definitely a step in the right direction a lot of feel like, so we are definitely happy it’s getting started today.”
The NCAA and United States Congress have just over two weeks to try and set a national standard for the NIL before several state bills take effect on July 1.
–photo courtesy of Clemson Athletic Communications
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