Chris Spielman, a former linebacker on the Ohio State football team, is suing OSU for using his likeness without his permission and compensation.
Yes, this is the same Spielman that is also an analyst for Fox and played in the NFL from 1988 to 1999.
According to The Morning Journal, the lawsuit against OSU names Ohio State and IMG as defendants along with Nike and Honda as co-conspirators. Nike specifically is named for its “Legends of the Scarlet and Gray jerseys.”
More specifically, “the lawsuit challenges marketing programs that use player images.” The lawsuit also goes after 64 banners at Ohio Stadium that show the photos of former Buckeyes.
“Former OSU student-athletes do not share in these revenues even though they have never given informed consent to the widespread and continued commercial exploitation of their images,” the lawsuit states.
Due to the fact that the lawsuit targets so many different areas of Ohio State University and the football program, it was filed as a class action lawsuit. This means it encompasses all players who could have had their likeness used by OSU.
“My concern is about the exploitation of all former players across this nation who do not have the platform to stand up for themselves while universities and corporations benefit financially by selling their name and likenesses without their individual consent,” Spielman said.
Along with Spielman, former Buckeye and NFL star Archie Griffin is also reportedly involved with the lawsuit, along with some other ex-Ohio State players.
“There is no greater supporter of collegiate athletics than me, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities provided to me as a former student athlete,” Griffin said in a statement issued to the Associated Press. “However, the recent landscape of collegiate athletics has changed, and these institutions and corporations have a duty to treat all former athletes fairly.”
After the famous Ed O’Bannon case made its way to the Supreme Court, resulting in a decision that this kind of act violates antitrust law, it makes sense for Spielman and Griffin to go after Ohio State for the same thing.
Spielman has said he will donate whatever he receives from the lawsuit back to the Ohio State athletic department, while Griffin said he’ll give any money he gets to a group that helps former Ohio State athletes dealing with financial struggles.