Illinois lawmaker introduces bill allowing college athletes to get paid

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill — Illinois could join California when it comes to letting college athletes get paid.

Illinois State Rep. Chris Welch introduced a bill in Springfield similar to California's, which allows college athletes to earn money for their images, names or likenesses.

The college athletes can also sign agents and cannot be removed from a team if they receive money.

Welch said he wants Illinois to be on a level playing field with California.

"This is an issue that the NCAA is being forced to deal with one way or the other," Welch said. "With Illinois being a Big 10 state, we've got to be in the center of it."

The NCAA said these bills would erase the distinction between student and professional athletes.

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