Georgia governor signs ‘Todd Gurley Bill’ into law
By Darren Hartwell
Todd Gurley is leaving quite the legacy in Georgia.
The 20-year-old running back, taken by the St. Louis Rams with the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, was a stud for three seasons with the Bulldogs. In October 2014, however, Gurley was hit with a four-game suspension for signing autographs in exchange for cash.
On Thursday, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a law to prevent such a scenario from happening again. The “Todd Gurley Bill,” drafted by Georgia alum and Republican state representative Barry Fleming, makes it a crime with a maximum punishment of one year in prison to bribe college athletes with money to get them to break NCAA rules.
House Bill 3, named in honor of the jersey number Gurley wore at Georgia, passed by a 48-4 vote in the Senate, according to The St. Augustine Record.
In explaining the legislation, Fleming said he hopes it will preventautograph-seekers and others from taking advantage of athletes like Gurley who feel they have no choice but to accept the money.
“I was disappointed when it happened,” Fleming said, via The Associated Press. “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.
“We plugged it into a law about alumni being overzealous. Now it’s a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. It can be up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.”
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