CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – Illinois Head Football Coach Lovie Smith said he’s hoping lawmakers pass a bill that would allow college athletes to be paid if their image or name is used.
Coach Lovie Smith spoke with reporters at the Big Ten Conference on Monday, just hours after Gov. JB Pritzker asked for lawmakers to pass the bill.
"I'm in favor for the players to getting as much as they possibly can - all of us - this is America, right? I'm in favor of everybody getting as much as they possibly can, how's that?" said Smith.
The bill has been filed with bipartisan support. California now has a similar law. Five other states are introducing their own legislation.
"The names and likenesses of student athletes are being used by others to create massive profits and yet the students themselves see none of those profits," Pritzker said at his Monday morning conference. "That's simply not fair. Any other student who has a job on weekends to make money while they're in school gets to keep what they earn. So why shouldn't student athletes be afforded the same right?"
According to the bill, schools would not be allowed to revoke a scholarship if student are paid for their likeness and the scholarship would not count as compensation. Athletes would also be allowed to hire agents.
If the bill passes, the endorsements would officially start in 2023.