WVEL News/Sports Scope Now: Illinois Lawmaker Calls For Student Athletes To Be Paid

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An Illinois lawmaker is pushing for compensation for college athletes.

Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, filed the new legislation to try and help the athletes “receive their fair share.”

“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.”

House Bill 3904, the Student Athlete Endorsement Act, would allow college student athletes attending any four-year public or private universities in Illinois to be compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness.

This comes after many across the nation have called for such measures.

Most recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law that would let athletes at California universities make money from their images, names or likenesses. The law also bans schools from kicking athletes off the team if they get paid.

The NCAA has steadfastly refused to pay players. But a committee led by Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith and Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman is studying other ways players could make money. The committee’s report is expected in October.

The NCAA does let some athletes accept money in some cases. Tennis players can accept up to $10,000 in prize money per year, and Olympians can accept winnings from their competitions. Plus, schools in the “Power 5” conferences can pay players yearly cost-of-living stipends of between $2,000 and $4,000.

The NCAA reported $1.1 billion in revenue in 2017.

(Information Courtesy Of WICS-TV & Associated Press)

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