Bulldogs > Gurley Bill Passes Senate

| April 3, 2015
Brant Sanderlin, AJC

Brant Sanderlin, AJC

ATLANTA — The all-too-brief Todd Gurley era at Georgia is over. But its memory is set to live on for quite a bit longer in the Peach State criminal code.

The Georgia State Senate passed House Bill 3, the so-called “Gurley Bill” — no, the “3” there is not a coincidence — on Tuesday, meaning only a signature from Gov. Nathan Deal is required to make the bill Georgia law. The bill aims to stiffen the penalties for sports memorabilia brokers or other individuals who (per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) “enter into a contract with a student-athlete [knowing] the transaction would jeopardize that athlete’s scholarship, eligibility or amateur standing.”

Those penalties could incude fines and even jail time.

“This happens around the country,” state senator Bill Cowsert told the Athens Banner-Herald. “It’s not just unique to Georgia athletics.”

But a bill aimed specifically towards eliminating the scourge of autograph brokers is unique to the Georgia legislative body, not that it’s hard to see why. Bulldogs fans of all stripes were incensed when a memorabilia dealer paid Gurley for autographs and later released that info to compliance officials, leading to a four-game suspension for Gurley and the end of his Heisman campaign.

Under the “Gurley Bill,” that offense would rise to the level of an aggravated misdemeanor. And don’t think for a second this isn’t worth the Georgia lawmaking body’s time, at least to judge by its apparent widespread, bipartisan support: it passed the Georgia House with a 145-27 vote, and the Senate 48-4.

Let this be a lesson to you, future autograph brokers of the world: take your business somewhere other than Georgia. (Please. Georgia’s asking really nicely, see.)

CBS Sports

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