More legislative sausage-making on TST. What are we coming to...
Today's news is that the state of Georgia has passed what's being referred to as the Todd Gurley law, House Bill 3. The Bill strengthens the penalties against individuals who try "to bribe or entice college athletes to knowingly break NCAA rules by taking money." The new law carries a fine of up to $5,000 and up to one year in jail. The law also protects schools to be able to sue those individuals to cover the costs of lost revenue from television and bowl games.
Of course, the moniker relates to last season's debacle involving Gurley and autographs. If you missed it last year, Gurley was paid $400 by a memorabilia dealer to autograph some items. Apparently, the dealer, a Florida fan, was upset that Gurley was signing items for other dealers, thus lowering the price of his Gurley-signed goods, so he outed him. Gurley was suspended for four games, upsetting anyone with any common sense since American adults should be able to sell their autograph to anyone willing to pay for it regardless of what their profession is...which is the odd thing here.
The state of Georgia is, in essence, protecting the schools and the NCAA...and giving up on righting a wrong on behalf of the players. They're codifying NCAA by-laws into state law. That should scare everyone, not just Georgians. That a state legislature would so comfortably amend their laws out of the personal dissatisfaction they felt as sports fans is troubling to say the least. Here's state representative Barry Fleming:
"That's what really got most peoples' dander up," said Fleming, a rabid Bulldogs fan with undergraduate and law degrees from UGA. "I was disappointed when it happened. But I understand the young man comes from a very humble background. His mother didn't have funds to properly repair the roof on the trailer she raised him in."
So in response, he penalizes the businessman further, protects the school, strengthens the NCAA and does nothing for the player, the one who couldn't get the roof of the trailer he grew up in fixed?!
In any case, Gurley not only has some legendary performances at the University of Georgia for residents of the state to remember him by. They've also got a new law because of him too.