Georgia governor signs 'Todd Gurley bill' into law
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill that makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to try to bribe or entice a college athlete to break NCAA rules in exchange for money.
On Thursday, Deal signed House Bill 3, which is the jersey number of former Georgia running back Todd Gurley.
Gurley was suspended for four games last season after accepting more than $3,000 in cash for autographed memorabilia and other items. In his first game back from his suspension, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
“No person shall enter into or solicit directly or through an agent a transaction with a student-athlete if such person has knowledge that the transaction would likely be cause for the student-athlete to permanently or temporarily lose athletic scholarship eligibility,” part of the bill reads.
A Georgia state representative said the bill's idea came about after he was upset that a dealer arranged for sales of Gurley's signatures and then tried to sell the story to media.
Those who break this law will face up to a year in prison, a $5,000 fine and the possibility of being sued in civil court.
"On the civil side, the university can sue the person who does this for any damages sustained, like losing a TV contract, not going to bowl games," Georgia state Rep. Barry Fleming told the Associated Press.
Gurley entered the 2015 NFL draft and was selected by the St. Louis Rams with the 10th pick in the first round.
Gurley ran for 911 yards and nine touchdowns last season before sustaining his injury and said during the NFL scouting combine in February that he learned from his mistakes.
“That probably was one of the best worst things that happened to me," Gurley said. "You definitely want to keep your eyes on a swivel and just watch who you're around because everybody is not for you. Even though I'd made a dumb mistake, it just makes you think about stuff in the future."
- Scooby Axson