JB Pritzker

Pritzker Signs New Illinois Law Allowing College Athletes to Be Paid

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed into law a measure that allows student-athletes in Illinois to be paid for things like promotions and endorsement deals.

Senate Bill 2338, the Student-Athlete Endorsement Rights Act, allows student-athletes to be compensated not by their schools for their athletics, but instead gives them the right to make their own deals in areas like marketing.

Under the new law, college athletes in Illinois will able to hire agents and sign endorsements in order to profit off their own name and likeness.

“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 in a statement.

“Let me be clear. Illinois is now at the forefront of this movement, yet another reason student-athletes should choose Illinois for college," he continued. "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.”

Pritzker signed the law at the University of Illinois in Champaign, one of the institutions impacted by the new law. Pritzker's office said U of I and DePaul University are among the schools now establishing programs to help students take advantage of the new law.

Similar laws have been passed in several other states and the NCAA Division 1 Council on Monday handed down a decision supporting an interim policy to allow athletes to be compensated in endorsement deals and the like.

The law in Illinois will apply to both public and private colleges and universities, enabling any student-athletes in the state to sign deals for things like modeling or promoting brand-name sportswear or other products.

But the law does not allow athletes to endorse or promote things like gambling or sports betting, controlled substances, cannabis, tobacco, alcohol, nicotine, performance-enhancing supplements, adult entertainment or any products or services that are "reasonably considered to be inconsistent with the values or mission of a postsecondary educational institution," the legislation reads.

The law will take effect on July 1.

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