CALUMET CITY, Ill. – State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, is continuing his fight for the rights of student athletes by spearheading a bill which would allow fair compensation for the use of their names and images.
“College sports is a billion dollar industry, and that industry is built on the long hours of hard work of countless student athletes,” Jones said. “Right now, competing in high-level college sports is essentially a full-time job with no salary. Wealthy universities and big sports companies are getting rich on unpaid labor, and it’s time for that to come to an end.”
Jones is sponsoring House Bill 3904, the Student Athlete Endorsement Act, which allows student athletes at Illinois colleges and universities to receive a share of the revenue schools make from using the students’ names and images in print, on television and in other media. Additionally, college athletes would have the option to seek professional representation to ensure their rights are protected.
This legislation follows a recent court ruling which stated the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) could not prevent payments to student athletes without violating anti-trust laws.
“These student athletes are getting taken advantage of by national companies that use their name and likeness to rack up huge profits,” Jones said. “If we stand by and continue to let that happen, we are complicit in their exploitation. This law is a big first step towards preventing more manipulation.”
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