Illinois adopts name, image and likeness policy for college athletes

Policy goes into effect July 1
Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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ILLINOIS (WFIE) - On Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Illinois Athlete Endorsement Rights Act, which allows student-athletes across the state to be compensated for their athletic achievements.

Evansville native Branson Combs, who’s now a wide receiver at Southern Illinois, said the policies are a step in the right direction.

“It’s a huge positive for just about everyone involved,” Combs said. “It’ll bring more attention than there already is to college athletes, so honestly it’s a good thing.”

The Illinois law gives collegiate athletes the right to make their own deals in areas like marketing.

Following Pritzker’s approval of the policy, governance bodies in all three NCAA divisions adopted their own uniform interim name, image and likeness policy on Wednesday for all incoming and current student-athletes throughout the country.

[READ MORE: NCAA clears way for athlete compensation as state laws loom]

NCAA rulings state that all athletes across all three divisions can be compensated, opening the policy to all athletic departments.

“As far as some of the bigger athletes out there, guys who have followings on social media, that’s a step in the right direction,” Combs said. “That’s an opportunity to make money as they should be able to. I think that’s how it should’ve been, I think it’s good that it’s been changed to that and I’m happy that it’s given all the athletes an opportunity to get that because they’ve worked to get where they are.”

Both policies will go into effect on July 1.

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