Brian Kemp signs House Bill 617, allowing Georgia’s NCAA athletes to profit off Name, Image and Likeness

The wait is over for student-athletes in Georgia: Governor Brian Kemp made history this morning, signing House Bill 617 into law, giving collegiate athletes the ability to profit off their Name, Image and Likeness. 

In 2019, Georgia State Rep. Billy Mitchell announced the legislation, and The Signal was right there when the NCAA voted to reverse their decision on paying student-athletes.

Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald reported that Kemp signed the bill to help the Georgia Bulldogs win a national championship. Kemp signed the bill at Sanford Stadium in Athens.

“Simply put, college athletes should be fairly compensated for use of name, image and likeness. As alumni myself, I’m a little bias, but think this will give Coach Smart every bit of help he needs to bring home a national championship, but that’s my own personal opinion,” Kemp said.

The Bulldogs will immediately compensate their student-athletes. As for Georgia State and Georgia Tech, nothing is set in stone yet.

HB 617 will take effect on July 1, and allow student-athletes to profit off anything from jersey sales to social media revenue.

Below is a summary of the bill:

“A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 3 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to postsecondary education, so as to provide that student athletes participating in intercollegiate athletic programs at postsecondary educational institutions may receive compensation for the use of the student athlete’s name, image, or likeness; to provide for application to intercollegiate athletic associations; to allow for professional representation of such student athletes participating in intercollegiate athletics; to provide for findings; to provide for definitions; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.”