College sports are a billion dollar industry.

According to WREX, Governor Pritzker is endorsing a bill that would allow for collegiate athletes to make money off their likeness and share some of the pie. But only off their likeness.

This isn't a pay to play bill, it strictly allows collegiate athletes to be paid for doing things like commercials with local businesses. It's similar to the bill passed in California earlier this year. There's a few schools of thought on this and I understand both sides to an extent.

Side 1 - "They're already getting a scholarship so that should make up for it."

While it is true that a lot of athletes have a scholarship, not all do. For many athletes, there simply aren't enough scholarships to be passed out. That means they are paying to go to school and helping the university profit even more off their athletic abilities.

With most athletes, their schedules are so packed that they don't have time to get a job either. A kid who has an academic scholarship still has the ability to have a part-time job and make some money, many athletes don't because of their schedule. I don't see an issue if they have an opportunity to do a local car dealership TV spot, restaurant spot, an appearance to sign merchandise, receive profits from a video game or stuff like that to earn some money.

Side 2 - "You start paying them and you're opening Pandora's Box."

This is the tricky part: while I don't take issue with them earning money from TV commercial spots or merchandise signings, I do believe it needs to be closely monitored by the NCAA in order to be fair.

Schools will find a loophole if it means more wins. You can't have student A making $1 million for a commercial and another making $20 thousand for one. Boosters will figure out a way to pay to get the athletes to their school one way or another.

Thankfully these are decisions for people a lot smarter than me, but I understand both viewpoints.

There's still time before any of this would go into effect — not until 2023, but I hope more states jump on board and can make this a federal bill and work with the NCAA to come up with fair compensation for all parties involved.

Do you think athletes should be able to earn money off their likeness? Leave me a comment below.

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