State Legislation Grants Student Athletes Ability to Sign Endorsement Deals

State Legislation Grants Student Athletes Ability to Sign Endorsement Deals

Here’s some legislation that will be of interest if your Kane County son or daughter is an athlete hoping to make it big at the college level.

Today, Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Student-Athlete Endorsement Rights Act (SB 2338) into law, making Illinois a national frontrunner in granting student-athletes the ability to sign individual endorsement deals while enrolled at a college or university.

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

“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 1, 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 alleviates financial pressure faced by student athletes who too often have to weigh the decision of finishing their degree or joining a professional sporting league to earn a salary. Going forward, any student athlete can enter into a partnership with either community businesses or large corporations and earn compensation.

Gov. JB Pritzker

“I am so proud of the work that went into passing this legislation to ensure student athletes receive the recognition and compensation they deserve,”said Speaker Chris Welch (D-Westchester). “As a former college athlete myself, I understand firsthand how this will benefit our student athletes, who often balance a full schedule of schoolwork with their sport, as well as their families. We’ve watched universities and coaches profit off of the talents of these young adults, and it is time we allow them to earn their fair share too.”

Higher learning institutions, such as the University of Illinois and DePaul University, are 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,” said UIUC Athletics Director Josh Whitman. “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.”

SB 2338 takes effective on July 1, 2021.

SOURCE: state of Illinois news release

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