a harris edit SPRINGFIELD –Illinois now allows student-athletes to be paid for the use of their names, image, or likenesses because of ex-NFL and Northwestern University alum State Senator Napoleon Harris, III (D-Harvey).

“Finally student-athletes will receive some financial benefit for the use of their names, images, and likenesses,” Harris said. “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.”  

The NCAA came out in support of paying college athletes but still has not provided guidelines on compensation for participating in sports other than through scholarships.

This law allows student-athletes to earn compensation for the use of their names, images, or likenesses – not their athletic ability. It will allow them to receive payment for products like apparel and video games that use their names or images. This law will be preempted if the federal government or the NCAA enacts its own regulations. 

Also, this law will prohibit student-athletes from benefiting from their athletic abilities, participating in intercollegiate athletics or sports competitions, attending a specific educational institution, or entering into a publicity rights agreement. 

 “The NCAA should be ashamed that they haven’t presented their own policy that allows student-athletes to be compensated,” Harris said. “Now, they will no longer be able to take advantage of Illinois student athletes, and I encourage every other state to provide their student-athletes with the same fair opportunity.”

Senate Bill 2338 was signed by the governor and will be effective July 1, 2021.