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Illinois college athletes could soon receive money if institutions use their name, image

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.- House Representatives passed a bill that could give college athletes the compensation they deserve.

Senate Bill 2338 allows athletes to earn money if their college or university uses their name, image, or likeness for profit. Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago) explained the bill would also give these athletes the ability to obtain an agent.

The former Illini football player said he proposed the bill based on personal experience after his image was used in college on a NCAA video game.

“Not only are we allowing these young people autonomy over their name, image, and their likeness, but also giving the institutions the opportunity to protect them,” said Buckner. “We know we live in a pretty unscrupulous world.”

Buckner also explained the bill prohibits college athletes from advertising certain products like alcohol or tobacco.

Rep. Jon Carroll (D-Northbrook) also fully supported the bill saying it gives college athletes the credit they deserve.

“As we watch things like the NFL draft, the NBA draft, we see these guys in their college uniforms and their universities are very proud of the things that they do,” said Carroll. “Unfortunately, like likeness, they are not compensated for. This gets us closer to actually doing the right thing.”

Similarly, Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) also supported the legislation. He argued college sports is a multi-billion dollar business and they should give back to the athletes.

“They are the stars of the show,” said Butler. “They deserve the recognition. I appreciate the work on this.”

The bill passed out of the House on a partisan 95-18 vote. It now needs to head back to the Senate for approval before it will go to Governor Pritzker’s desk.

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Ali Rasper

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