Last May, the Illinois legislature passed a bill so that student-athletes could contract with third-parties for name, image, and likeness, (NIL) opportunities. Under the original bill, universities could not get involved in the arrangements between student-athletes and third parties.
An amendment passed by the Illinois legislature, and signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, last month lifted some of the restrictions on university involvement like in Tennessee and Mississippi. The following are some of the amendment highlights.
Changes in School Involvement
Previously, schools were not able to arrange opportunities for student-athletes to receive compensation and sell their publicity rights. In addition, universities could not directly compensate and provide publicity rights for student-athletes.
Today, universities in Illinois still cannot directly compensate and give student-athletes publicity rights. However, now universities can help arrange compensation and publicity opportunities for student-athletes. The amendment reinforced that universities are not required to get involved in NIL arrangements for current student-athletes and prospective student-athletes.
The previous bill required that student-athletes provide their representation agreements to universities within seven days of signing the agreement. Universities now decide when a student-athlete must provide and report their representation agreements.
Under the original bill, student-athletes must notify their institutions prior to the agreement starting and the student-athlete receiving compensation. The amendment allows for institutions to determine the timeframe when student-athletes need to report new agreements.
Representation Agreement Extension
Previously, contracts with third-parties put in place for a student-athlete’s NIL were for the term that the student-athlete was at the same institution. With the amendment, contracts are now for the term the student-athlete is at any institution. The bill does not specify what institution the athlete must be at for the duration of the contract.
The change in language likely takes into account that student-athletes can transfer easily to different institutions with the transfer portal. The amendment only requires a student-athlete to attend an institution, which allows for student-athletes to have longer careers with third-parties.
Opportunities for Education
Another portion of the amendment provided language to encourage universities to teach student-athletes life skills. The amendment proposed that universities incorporate programming on financial literacy, brand management, and time management. The only restriction on the programming is that it cannot market or solicit customers for certain financial service providers.
For the amendment language, please see the full text here.
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