Try to get a Georgia athlete to sign autographs for pay could now result in a major fine and even jail time.
The new law was inspired by the case of Georgia running back Todd Gurley who was suspended four games for taking money from autograph dealer Bryan Allen last season. In an apparent nod to Gurley, the measure was labeled House Bill 3, which was Gurley’s uniform number with the Bulldogs.
Assuming the governor signs the measure, anyone who enters into a contract with a student-athlete knowing it would jeopardize the athletic scholarship, eligibility or amateur standing could face an aggravated misdemeanor charge resulting in a fine of up to $25,000 and even a jail sentence.
Other major universities concerned about player eligibility have tightened access to players or instructed them to personalize autographs or sign only for children.
Having entered the NFL Draft, Gurley is now free to sign autograph deals with whomever he chooses and he’ll be in several upcoming pre-Draft football card products.