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South Carolina lawmaker files bill that would allow colleges to pay some athletes directly

A bill filed in the South Carolina Senate would allow colleges to pay year stipends and graduation payments to certain athletes in good academic standing.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new bill filed in the South Carolina Senate would provide yearly stipends and graduation payouts to certain college athletes who maintain good academic standing, permitting direct pay-for-play for Division One players. 

Senate Bill 306, filed by Sen. Marlon Kimpson, proposes annual stipends for football players, as well as men's and women's basketball players at the Division One colleges that generate at least $50,000 in yearly revenue, according to NBC affiliate WCBD in South Carolina.

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This bill comes over 18 months after Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bipartisan bill into law that allows student-athletes to receive compensation for name, image and likeness rights, collectively known as NIL. Several high-profile athletes in South Carolina signed NIL deals, including former Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei.

Students would be required to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA the previous year, beginning with the student's senior year in high school. The amount of money would be "determined by the total number of hours the student athlete spends associated with intercollegiate sport multiplied by the hourly rate established by the participating institution for a work-study program," the bill states. 

In addition to annual stipends, the bill would allow colleges to create a Student-Athlete Trust Fund using a percentage of the school's sports gross revenue. The bill states $5,000 would be contributed to the trust fund yearly for each football player and men's and women's basketball player that maintains above a 2.0 GPA. 

Upon graduation and the completion of a financial literacy course, students would be paid the amount of money contributed to the fund on their behalf. Payments would be capped at $25,000. 

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