Lunsford gives thoughts on paying collegiate athletes

Monday, Lunsford talked about paying college athletes after California passed a bill that would allow for it to happen.

McClain Baxley

STATESBORO — California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 206 Monday, allowing college athletes in the state to hire agents and profit from their name, image and likeness.

The bill was opposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Assn., warning that it will upend the amateur aspect of college athletics.

At his weekly press conference Monday, Georgia Southern Head Coach Chad Lunsford weighed in on the conversation. 

“When you start talking about student-athletes and you start talking about the different things that go on with it, obviously college football is a big business. College sports is a big business,” he said. “If a young man is generating that type of money for a university, I’m fully for people looking at it and going ‘we can work these things into this.’”

The California bill won’t go into effect until 2023, but other states have taken notice. On Sept. 13, two South Carolina lawmakers told The State that they plan to file similar proposals in January, when the General Assembly reconvenes. 

For now, there has been no bill or change for paying college athletes nationally or in Georgia. 

“Whatever is best for the student athlete, I’m for, but I don’t want to lose the integrity of an amateur sport also,” Lunsford said. “I think the further this thing goes, you just have to make sure that it’s working on both sides: not turning it into a professional thing and still keeping that college atmosphere.”

McClain Baxley, The George-Anne Editor-in-Chief, [email protected]