Tag Archives: University of Georgia

Gurley legislation is for whiners and tax collectors

As someone who doesn’t keep up with football, who doesn’t like grandstanding, and who believes in a very limited government, you can imagine my despair for the pre-filed HB 3 by Representative Barry Fleming (R-121), “Education; programs; person solicit transaction with student-athlete; provide sanctions”

Aside from the riveting title, the bill is just bad news. HB 3…

Todd Gurley

…and then the jersey number. It’s no coincidence.

The bill summary says: “To amend Part 14 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (which you can find here), relating to other educational programs, so as to provide sanctions for persons that enter into or solicit a transaction with a student-athlete that would result in sanctions to the student-athlete; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.”

Though I went to UGA for graduate school, I don’t have a “team” or a vested interest in this argument. If you do, I hope you can set them aside in considering what this legislation is actually doing. Let’s consider the following:

  1. Whether you believe student athletes should be able to collect salaries, funds, fees or kickbacks is not relevant here. The legislation strictly pertains to would-be ‘offenders’ who solicit student athletes. The rest isn’t under consideration.
  2. The bill calls for sanctions on the person who attempts to or enters into a contract/transaction with a student athlete for a purpose that would likely (love the wording) suspend eligibility for performance, participation, or scholarships. Sure, the student athlete would still risk school and NCAA punishment, but we are talking about the legal system. Laws are supposed to be equitable and just. Essentially, the legislation would make one party of the contract more culpable than the other even though both parties are freely and voluntarily engaging in this behavior. We don’t need to enact legislation to tip the justice scales when we have consenting adults. Organizational sanctions are sufficient if this behavior is to be discouraged.
  3. The legislation effectively makes entering a contract punishable under the law (and with a $25,000 sanction and a felony on your record, no less). Something that is otherwise legal with any other human over the age of 18 in Georgia. I have looked for precedent and justification or even something remotely similar under Georgia law, but I haven’t been able to find anything. There is a lack of “legal need” for this bill. This won’t make us safer and it isn’t protecting anyone…if that’s your logic behind government as a whole.
  4. Government is reactive. Sometimes too reactive. It seems as though we try to win hearts and then influence people because the premise of a bill may not be good. If this wasn’t Georgia and our state wasn’t swarming with UGA fans, this probably wouldn’t have come about. If it weren’t for the outrage over the season’s ups and downs with Todd Gurley, we may not be having this conversation.

A lot of times we hear people telling us to take the person out of the politics and they’re referencing the sponsor of legislation, but I’m not exactly a fan of the heart strings bills that use poster children to disguise expanded government. Pre-filed bills are often shells, too, which will be amended later, but this one is bad in premise and I hope our legislators – and football fans -are able to see that.

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The 2nd Amendment: Give it back to students

Below is a copy of my letter to my State Representative (and some others that I respect) regarding 2nd amendment privileges on non-traditional college campuses:
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January 16, 2013

Representative Edward Lindsey
415 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334

CC: Representative Chuck Martin, Representative B.J. Pak, Representative Paulette Braddock,
Senator Hunter Hill, Senator Judson Hill, Senator Brandon Beach

Re: Second Amendment privileges on alternative college campuses.

Dear Representative Lindsey,

My name is Jessica ________ and I am one of your constituents. I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Georgia, though I attend the satellite campus in Gwinnett. If you’re not familiar with this campus, it is a multi-story office complex that serves as an alternative campus for working graduate and doctoral students. The “campus”, which includes classrooms, study rooms, a library and a few administrative offices, encompasses the entire first floor of the building, with corporate offices on floors two and three.

As I know you are aware, firearms are prohibited on any college campus, regardless of a carry permit presence or gun caliber. As a Georgia State alum, I recognize the vulnerability of students on a college campuses and I feel that vulnerability is no less simply because my current campus is in a suburb. A “gun-free” zone, regardless of location, places students at an unfair advantage. I recognized the true disadvantage when I was informed by campus personnel that even “non-traditional” campuses fall under prohibited zones. Students have no barriers, as most walls and doors are made of glass and doors open outwards into the hallways (I’m sure you recall the dilemma with this in the Virginia Tech case). Without the ability to protect themselves, the only line of defense is to duck.

Classes at the Gwinnett campus often begin late-afternoon or early evening and release late and after dark. This is true of other campuses, such as the Georgia State campus in Alpharetta, the Terry Business School in Buckhead and the Georgia Perimeter satellite campuses across metro Atlanta. Further, nearly 100% of these students are graduate level and higher, therefore invalidating any argument regarding firearms in the hands of minors or those not eligible for a carry permit.

I understand that a blanket permit of firearms on campuses across Georgia is a long shot, especially in this political climate. I am, however, asking for proposed legislation which would allow firearms on alternative campuses which are adjacent to business offices. Business persons have no restrictions on their second amendment, however, as a student, I immediately stripped of my right to bear arms simply because of a ‘status’, even though we are all operating in the same building. Not only am I student, I, along with my classmates, am a sitting duck with a label of “potential victim”. I believe Georgia can do better and I believe students deserve better.

I welcome your feedback.

Respectfully,

 

Jessica _________
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