SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – College athletes would receive their fair share of the revenue schools make off of them under new legislation introduced by state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside.

“This measure is about equity and fairness to our college athletes, who have essentially been used to generate massive profits for their schools, without receiving a dollar in return,” Welch said. “My bill ends that discriminatory practice and allows these students to share in the profits they are creating.”

Welch is sponsoring House Bill 3904, the Student Athlete Endorsement Act, which would allow college student athletes attending any of Illinois’ four-year public or private universities to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness. The bill follows a national groundswell to allow college athletes to earn money this way, while their university and athletic organizations benefit from college athletes. California has just enacted legislation to fairly compensate student-athletes.  

Welch’s prevents athletic associations, like the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), from imposing and executing long-standing rules that would ban colleges from competing in collegiate sports if universities allowed their athletes to earn money from the use of a student’s name, image and likeness.

“The rules that athletic associations like the NCAA are arbitrary and should not be the governing principles of college sports that both restricts athletes from just compensation but threatens universities from participating in sports,” said Welch. “Illinois should join California, and the other states considering similar laws, to demand change and to treat its college athletes with the respect and justice they deserve.”

Rep. Emanuel Chris WelchRep. Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District
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