Pritzker signs legislation allowing Illinois student athletes to be compensated

Regional News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday signed legislation allowing student athletes to be compensated. During a the signing at the University of Illinois, he said the innovative legislation will grant student athletes control over their name, image, likeness, or voice for the first time.

“With this law, Illinois will lead the United States in giving student-athletes the opportunity to sign endorsement deals of their own, joining a growing coalition of states leading the fight for innovation in our modern collegiate sports system,” Pritzker said. “Let me be clear. Illinois is now at the forefront of this movement, yet another reason student-athletes should choose Illinois for college. Beginning July 1st, Illinois collegiate student athletes – no matter the sport and no matter the division – can take control of their destiny when it comes to their own name, image, likeness, and voice.”

Going forward, any student athlete can enter into a partnership with either community businesses or large corporations and earn compensation.

Higher learning institutions, such as the University of Illinois and DePaul University, are already establishing programs to help students take advantage of this new law, further cementing Illinois colleges and universities as a top destination for both in and out of state students.

“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,” UIUC Athletics Director Josh Whitman said. “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 new law goes into effect July 1.

Illinois joined a growing number of states in favor of allowing college athletes to earn money off their name, image and likeness.

Ohio became the 18th state Monday to approve such legislation. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed an executive order that would prevent universities or college athletic conferences from punishing athletes if they are compensated based on their sports performance. 

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