CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND)- Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 2338 on Tuesday, allowing collegiate student-athletes to profit based on their name, image, and likeness. 

The Student-Athlete Endorsement Rights Act, will grant student athletes control over their name, image, likeness, or voice for the first time, undoing the antiquated practice of banning students from earning money despite the hours they commit to their sport.

Illinois is now a national leader in granting student-athletes the ability to sign individual endorsement deals while enrolled at a college or university.

“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,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “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.”

The legislation will alleviate financial pressures on student athletes who battle the decision of finishing their degree or joining a professional sporting league to earn a salary.

Now any student athlete will be able to enter into a partnership with community businesses or large corporations and earn compensation.

“As a former collegiate student athlete, this legislation is extremely personal to me, I am proud to see Governor Pritzker sign this bill to ensure student athletes are able to earn income from their likeness, name and image,” said Representative Kam Buckner (D-Chicago). “This is the kind of tangible change we mean when we talk about equity, especially since many of these students come from underserved communities. This will directly help students and their families, which also makes it easier for them to stay in school and finish their degree.”

“Finally student-athletes will receive some financial benefit for the use of their names, images, and likenesses,” said Senator Napoleon Harris, III (D-Harvey). “Their schools will no longer receive all the financial benefits. The students deserve compensation from the hard work of being a college athlete and making their schools millions of dollars.”

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