Report: SEC, Pac-12 leaders to push for NIL law in DC

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The commissioners of the Southeastern Conference and Pac-12 are scheduled to meet with lawmakers in Washington on Thursday to lobby for federal legislation to regulate name, image and likeness compensation to athletes.

Greg Sankey of the SEC and George Kliavkoff of the Pac-12 plan to meet with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and other lawmakers, a person who has been briefed on the commissioners’ trip to Capitol Hill told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.

The person spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because neither conference was making the lobbying efforts public. Sports Illustrated first reported the planned visit.

The commissioners of two of the five wealthiest conferences want to lay out the negative ramifications on college sports and athletes if the status quo remains unchanged when it comes to NIL compensation. They also plan to present a framework for a possible solution.

The NCAA lifted its ban on athletes earning money for endorsement and sponsorship deals last year, but with no detailed and uniform rules in place. Left practically unregulated, NIL has quickly become intertwined with recruiting with millions of dollars suddenly available to athletes from well-heeled donors.

Coaches and administrators are concerned that booster-funded organizations have been luring recruits and all but transferring athletes to their schools with payments that are recruiting inducements in disguise as NIL deals.

The commissioners also plan to detail the potential damage that would be done to the majority of college athletes if those who play in the high-profile sports of football and men’s basketball were deemed employees of the universities and required to be paid. The NCAA and its member schools have long opposed the idea of paying athletes.

The Pac-12, Big Ten and Big 12 were among the major college football conferences holding spring meetings at the same resort in Arizona this week.

In an interview earlier Wednesday with the AP, Kliavkoff said the commissioners of the Power Five conferences were obligated to take a leadership role in shaping the future of college sports during a turbulent time.

“I believe that all of us agree on the idea that NIL is a good thing and that student athletes should be able to earn money using their name, image and likeness,” Kliavkoff said. “I think we all agree that there should be a few very definitive limitations on that to prevent schools from buying kids or pay-for-play. And I think there’s alignment (among commissioners) that we believe in the collegiate model, and we think a finding by anyone that our student-athletes are employees is an existential threat to the collegiate model.”

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.