Gov. Pritzker signs bill allowing college athletes to make money off their name, image and likeness

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois Gov. JB Prtizker signed the Student-Athletic Endorsement Rights Act into law on Wednesday at UIUC’s State Farm Center.

The new legislation allows student athletes to sign onto individual endorsement deals while they are enrolled at a college or university.

A press release from the governor’s office says the legislation allows athletes control over their name, image, likeness and voice. Additionally, schools can no longer prohibit the athletes from making money despite the hours they spend on the sport.

“The legislation alleviates financial pressure faced by student athletes who too often have to weigh the decision of finishing their degree or joining a professional sporting league to earn a salary,” says the release. Going forward, any student athlete can enter into a partnership with either community businesses or large corporations and earn compensation.”

The release says schools like UIUC and DePaul are already building up programs to help students take advantage of the new law.

“This legislation establishes Illinois as a thought-leader in the evolving landscape of collegiate athletics by ushering in one of the most transformative changes to college sports we have seen in generations,” said UIUC Athletics Director Josh Whitman. “The new NIL paradigm in our state will allow great freedoms to our student-athletes while upholding the core tenets and educational mission of our universities and our athletic programs. Our thanks to Governor Pritzker and our state’s lawmakers for their innovation, open-mindedness, and leadership in this exciting new area.”

The law goes into effect on July 1.

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