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Bishop Pledges to Work with Clemson, USC on any Congressional Action Related to Collegiate Athletics

EASLEY, SOUTH CAROLINA – Kevin Bishop, Republican candidate for Congress in South Carolina’s Third Congressional District, today pledged to work closely with Clemson University and the University of South Carolina on any congressional legislation which could impact the university athletic programs.

The issue was brought into focus yesterday in a congressional hearing with former Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban on the current state of college athletics.

During the hearing Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) noted he had been working on congressional legislation clarifying the issue of whether college athletes should be classified as employees or students.  Cruz noted he has worked on the proposed legislation with Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), and Corey Booker (D-New Jersey).  He gave the likelihood of congressional action this year as 50-50 and slipping given the compressed congressional schedule. 

Bishop made this statement following the discussion:

“It’s not the top issue on voters’ minds today – nor should it be – but it is very likely that the next representative from the Third District will be called upon to vote on legislation which could directly impact Clemson and University of South Carolina athletics.  This is an issue of particular interest given one of the main focal points of the Third District is Clemson University. 

“If elected I will work closely with Clemson and USC to ensure the needs and wishes of state’s athletic programs are protected.  College sports are very important to people in our state – regardless of whether they wear orange and white or garnet and black. 

“I was born and raised a Clemson Tiger.  My father and uncle graduated from Clemson in 1965.  I graduated from Clemson in 1993 and have two children who attend Clemson today.  I have seen my Tigers win championships and I take great pride that our athletic teams put ‘Little Ole Clemson’ front and center on the national stage.  I know how important athletic success is to the Clemson Family.  I will work to preserve that piece of our Clemson legacy for generations to come. 

“We all agree the current system needs updating and athletes should share in a portion of the funds generated.  However, we must ensure this is done in a manner which would not put Clemson and South Carolina athletics at an unfair, competitive disadvantage.  We also do not want to see Clemson and South Carolina forced to drastically reduce the number of sports we currently compete in. 

“College sports bind generations together in the Palmetto State.  As your representative, I will ensure we – Tigers and Gamecock alike – are treated in a fair and equitable manner in the halls of Congress.”

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