Illinois passes Name, Image and Likeness legislation allowing student athletes to profit off their image


Daily file photo by Joshua Hoffman

Ryan Field. On Tuesday, Illinois passed legislation allowing student athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.

Jacob Fulton, Summer Editor

Illinois joined the ranks of dozens of states who have passed successful Name, Image and Likeness legislation Tuesday after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill allowing student athletes across the state to profit off their image. 

The legislation is slated to go into effect on Thursday, marking a turning point in collegiate athletics after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of athletes’ rights in a related case, NCAA v. Alston, on June 21.

[Read The Daily’s investigation into the impact NIL legislation would have on student athletes.]

After years of debate on the issue, multiple state bills on the matter will also be implemented on Thursday, shaping the future of collegiate athletics as the NCAA looks to pass regulations for states without legislation on Wednesday. 

“Illinois is now at the forefront of this movement,” Pritzker said Tuesday at the signing of the bill. “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.”

Northwestern responded to the legislation on Tuesday, announcing its support for the bill. The University said it has been preparing for potential NIL changes for years through a variety of programs, including athlete education and brand awareness initiatives.

Incoming Athletic Director Derrick Gragg said in a Tuesday news release the University appreciates the leadership of state legislators, some of whom were NU alumni, on the passage of the landmark bill. 

“Today’s action is a significant step forward for student-athletes at Northwestern and across our state,” Gragg said. “As this evolution offers our young men and women new opportunities, our commitment to providing more than 500 Wildcats across 19 teams an exceptional experience and foundation for lifelong success will not waver.”

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