Illinois lawmakers OK bill to allow student-athletes to make endorsement deals

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Illinois lawmakers OK bill to allow student-athletes to make endorsement deals (Springfield, IL) – Illinois legislators have passed a bill that will allow college student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.

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According to the Chicago Tribune, Senate Bill 2338 passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and will allow student-athletes to hire agents and sign endorsement deals while enrolled at a post-secondary education institution, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Senate Bill 2338 currently awaits Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s signature before it becomes law.

Will County Gazette reached out to Illinois State Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield), who voted in support of Senate Bill 2338, to voice his opinion on the bill.

“They should be able to profit off their likeness and image or do endorsements,” Batinick told Will County Gazette. “You look at the amount of money that universities make off the student-athletes and sometimes if they get injured in college or they’re unable to play in college it’s the only opportunity to profit a little bit from their ability, so it seemed like something that was pretty common sense to me.”

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico have passed similar legislation, which takes effect July 1. A similar bill is currently awaiting Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature, and California has equivalent legislation taking effect in 2023 even though the state passed the law in 2019.

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“Maybe the kids will actually not be forced to go to the pros; they could stay in college a little bit longer and finish their careers get their degree,” Batinick said when asked how this bill would affect student-athletes. “The ones that never had a chance to go pro will earn a little bit of money, hopefully.”

Batinick also described how he thought the bill might affect the school sports landscape overall and how it would level the playing field.

“Maybe players will start looking at it differently and it’ll bring a little bit more competition to the playing field where somebody could be a superstar at a smaller school,” Batinick told Will County Gazette. “Maybe they’ll be more likely to go to a smaller school because they could be a big fish in a small pond as opposed to being a big fish in a really big pond.”

The bill has conditions that would prevent student-athletes from endorsing brands or products such as alcohol or vaping products.

Illinois lawmakers OK bill to allow student-athletes to make endorsement deals

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