Two South Carolina lawmakers plan to file a proposal which would allow college athletes to profit from endorsements, similar to the Fair Pay to Play Act approved by the California State Senate this week.
S.C. Sen. Marlon Kimpson and Rep. Justin Bamberg told The State they plan to file the bill when the General Assembly meets again in January.
The proposal would allow South Carolina's "biggest colleges to pay $5,000-a-year stipends to athletes in profitable sports like football and basketball. It also would give collegiate athletes—who can receive tuition and housing for their efforts, but not pay—an opportunity to earn money from sponsorships and autograph sales for the first time," according to The State.
California's Senate approved the Fair Pay to Play Act, which is still pending, with a 39–0 vote on Wednesday. Gov. Gavin Newsom has 30 days to sign or veto the bill.
The Fair Pay to Play Act has already earned a few notable endorsements, including one from Lakers star LeBron James. The bill will allow college athletes to be paid for the use of their name, likeness and image. It would not force schools to pay athletes, but rather allow athletes to hire agents who can procure business and sponsorship deals.
California schools and the NCAA have long opposed the bill, which would make it impossible for schools to follow the NCAA's amateurism rules. On Wednesday, the NCAA sent a letter to Newsom calling the state's legislation "unconstitutional."