Gov. Pritzker signs Illinois student-athlete compensation bill at U of I

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) — Gov. JB Pritzker is expected to sign a landmark bill Tuesday, allowing college-athletes in Illinois to be compensated.

Pritzker is expected to sign the major legislation at noon at the University of Illinois in Champaign, but it will mean big changes for athletes across the state.

The legislation he will sign will allow student-athletes in Illinois to be compensated, which means they could independently profit from endorsement deals and hire agents, just like the pros.

College athletics is a huge business, generating billions of dollars, but the athletes typically don’t see a dime.

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State lawmakers said this is about giving student-athletes the opportunity that everyone else has to be compensated for their name, likeness, image and voice. Illinois is the first in the Midwest to pass an endorsement bill.

It joins a handful of other states, including California.

But to level the playing field for all universities and colleges, Congress would need to pass national legislation, which the NCAA supports.

“They are the source of this great amount of money that is making head coaches fabulously wealthy; they deserve at least the opportunity to make some money off their name, likeness and image,” Sportscorp President Marc Ganis said.

The full NCAA Board votes Wednesday, but an advisory panel voted Monday to drop the rules that prevent college athletes from making money off their likeness.

Once the governor signs the bill Tuesday, it will go into effect this Thursday.

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June 29, 2021 at 01:05PM

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