COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - A new state Senate bill filed by a Charleston senator would require state colleges to pay their student athletes.
The bill stipulates the sports eligible for the payment would have to be NCAA Division I sports generating at least $50 million per year, which means that USC and Clemson are likely among the only South Carolina colleges that would be directly affected.
Charleston Sen. Marlon Kimpson filed Senate Bill S0171 earlier this month.
The bill requires not only weekly stipends for athletes who maintain a 2.0 grade point average or higher, but also a trust fund an athlete would receive after graduating and completing a state-approved financial literacy course.
The stipend, or allowance, would amount to at least $2,500 per semester, but not more than the total cost of attending the school, and would be paid regardless of additional scholarships or other financial aid the student already receives, the bill states.
The law would require the schools to fund the trusts annually, up to $5,000 per student athlete, for each year the student maintains a good academic standing. The money would come from the sports' gross revenue generated from the use of the commercial value of a student athlete's name, image or likeness; ticket sales, television rights, merchandise and broadcasting license agreements.
For any years a student fails to maintain the 2.0 G.P.A., no money would be deposited.
By the time an athlete graduates, that trust could total as much as $25,000, the bill states.
If passed, the act would take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
Read the complete text of the bill here.