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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney, South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer and Coastal Carolina football coach Tim Beck all came together at the Statehouse to urge lawmakers to pass a law allowing their schools to directly compensate their athletes.

The call for name, image and likeness legislation came Tuesday in a South Carolina House education committee hearing. It passed unanimously after the committee started the meeting with a group photo — coaches in the front and lawmakers in the back. The bill now goes to the House floor; the Senate hasn’t taken up the matter yet.

The three football coaches were joined by more than a dozen from other sports. They packed the hearing room, and South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley and men’s basketball coach Lamont Paris prowled the halls of the House’s office building to meet with legislators before the meeting started.

The bill would overhaul a law passed a few years ago when name, image and likeness laws were just starting. It would allow universities to work with companies or others who want to make NIL offers. The school could also evaluate the deals and give advice to athletes. It is similar to proposals in other states that also are trying to go around the NCAA.

“We have been limited in our NIL involvement through the ever-changing guidance from the NCAA, and that has left our student-athletes trying to figure out much of this on their own — navigating complex NIL opportunities without trained guidance,” Swinney told the committee.

Beamer thanked lawmakers for their consideration, saying passing the bill was vital to keep teams in the state competitive. Republican House Education and Public Works Committee chair Shannon Erickson, of Beaufort, rattled off the nearly dozen national titles won by coaches at the meeting or seen earlier in the day in football, women’s basketball, men’s soccer, equestrian and baseball.

“It is something we deal with daily. It is also ever-changing, daily. This law would give us stability and flexibility,” Beamer said.

The bill is also needed for lesser-known, smaller teams, Coastal Carolina women’s basketball coach Kevin Pederson said.

On his team, one player gets a few smoothies through her deal and a second gets bathing suits. The law would allow the school to work for better deals for all.

“They need an advocate who loves them the way I love them. They need an advocate who will push for them the way I push for them,” Pederson said.

The outcome was certain before the gavel came down to open the meeting. Republican Rep. April Cromer from Anderson walked up to Swinney and shook his hand.

“This might not have been necessary. We were going to pass it anyway,” she said as Swinney, Beamer and Beck all laughed.

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Vogelbach’s slow HR trot draws ire of Yanks’ Cole

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Vogelbach's slow HR trot draws ire of Yanks' Cole

TAMPA — Having Gerrit Cole walk off the mound mid at-bat in the first inning would usually mean disaster for the New York Yankees. But spring training is different.

Cole, making his spring debut Friday night, gave up a two-run home run and a triple before manager Aaron Boone pulled him during a 1-2 count six batters into the Yankees’ 8-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

But the Yankees’ ace reappeared in the second inning — that’s allowed in spring training — to smoothly complete his workday, retiring the side in order and facing two more hitters in the third inning. In all, he allowed two earned runs on four hits across the two-plus innings. He threw 39 pitches.

“I’m executing the way I want to execute there,” Cole said.

The only issue Cole had Friday had nothing to do with his own performance. It was with Blue Jays designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach, who punctuated his two-run blast off Cole in the first inning with a bat flip and trot that bothered the right-hander.

“What’s the day?” Cole said. “Are we still in February? March 1st? Yeah, he enjoyed that homer.”

Asked if he would remember Vogelbach’s enjoyment, Cole replied: “I don’t forget a lot of things.”

Cole, 33, was one of the few bright spots during the Yankees’ disappointing 2023 season. The right-hander went 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 209 innings across 33 starts. The performance earned him his first Cy Young Award.

This year, he tops a starting rotation with a few question marks. Friday was a solid start even if he didn’t finish the first inning.

“It was good to be out there again,” Cole said, “and yeah, the stuff was pretty good.”

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Sources: Giants, 3B Chapman agree on $54M deal

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Sources: Giants, 3B Chapman agree on M deal

Matt Chapman, regarded as one of the best defensive infielders in baseball, agreed to a three-year, $54 million contract with the San Francisco Giants, sources confirmed to ESPN on Saturday.

The deal also includes opt-outs after the first and second year of the agreement.

Chapman’s deal is very similar in structure to that of Cody Bellinger, who re-signed with the Chicago Cubs last week, with his highest salaries at the outset of the contract. Like Bellinger, Chapman also has the built-in opportunity to test the market again if he has a better season offensively than in 2023.

Chapman, who turns 31 in April, won his fourth Gold Glove Award in 2023 with the Toronto Blue Jays. Since the start of the 2018 season, he ranks first among all players at that position in defensive runs saved and he is third in outs above average.

As Chapman moved into free agency this fall, however, some talent evaluators privately expressed doubts about their interest in him because of his offensive performance — 71 homers over the past three seasons, but with a .226 batting average and 537 strikeouts in 446 games.

His 2023 season was a microcosm of the good and bad he’s generated at the plate: After starting very well and batting .384 in April, he flatlined, generating a .205/.298/.361 slash line the rest of the way. Evaluators noted his trouble against fastballs.

The Giants have had difficulty signing high-end free agents in recent winters, with their overtures to Aaron Judge and others turned down. The addition of Chapman should complement what is expected to be a good pitching staff — including sinkerballer Logan Webb.

The New York Post first reported Chapman’s deal with the Giants.

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Rodon allows 4 HRs vs. prospects in sim game

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Rodon allows 4 HRs vs. prospects in sim game

New York Yankees left-hander Carlos Rodon allowed four homers to minor leaguers over three innings during a simulated game with the wind blowing out in Florida on Friday.

“I don’t want to give up homers, but I’m glad I give it up to our guys,” Rodon said. “Makes them feel good about themselves.”

Josh Breaux, Agustin Ramirez, Ben Rice and Jose Rojas went deep. After Rojas’ homer in the final inning, Rodon struck out three of his final four batters, including top prospect Spencer Jones twice.

“I had some sequences there at the end,” Rodon said. “Got some work on curveballs and work on the cutter, so it’s good.”

While the outing wasn’t great, Rodon feels healthy and that’s most important after an injury-marred 2023 where he went 3-8 with a 6.85 ERA in 14 starts.

Rodon, 31, is in the second year of a six-year, $162 million contract he signed with the Yankees last winter.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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