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New Illinois law allows college athletes to sign endorsements

Any student athlete can enter into a partnership with either community businesses or large corporations and earn compensation

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — College athletes in Illinois will be able to earn money from endorsement deals after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill Tuesday.

"Beginning July 1st, Illinois collegiate student athletes – no matter the sport and no matter the division – can take control of their destiny when it comes to their own name, image, likeness, and voice,” Pritzker said during a press conference at the University of Illinois.

Any student athlete can enter into a partnership with either community businesses or large corporations and earn compensation. The University of Illinois and DePaul University are launching programs to help students take advantage of the new law, Pritzker said.

The law applies to public and private schools.

“This bill is about equity. It’s about parity. It’s about autonomy. It’s about fair market," said Rep. Kam Buckner, a former college football player, who sponsored the bill. “What we are signaling here is that we cannot continue to economically suppress these young people while they infuse tremendous amounts of money into our economies."

Illinois is among about 20 states that have enacted similar laws.

The NCAA Board of Governors is expected to vote Wednesday on a policy for student athletes. Earlier this week, an NCAA council recommended the board approve recommendations that will allow student athletes to accept endorsements on an interim basis.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the NCAA cannot limit education-related benefits for student athletes, setting the stage for future challenges to compensation rules.

Watch Pritzker's full press conference in the YouTube video below:

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.