Chris Spielman Files for Expansion of Lawsuit Regarding Commercial Exploitation of Player Images
By Ken Reed
Former Ohio State Buckeyes football great, Chris Spielman, has asked a judge to allow him to expand his lawsuit against Ohio State to include all 89 colleges that have contracts with sports marketing and talent agency IMG.
Spielman claims that marketing campaigns for dozens of big-time college football programs improperly use the images of thousands of current and former college football players. He contends that the players should be compensated for the use of their images. Spielman’s complaint says IMG and shoe-and-apparel-maker Nike wrongly use the likenesses of current and former players at 89 colleges and universities.
The proposed class action lawsuit claims that IMG and Nike have restricted players’ ability to “capitalize on the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears” shed by Spielman and other college players during their playing days. The complaint also calls IMG’s and Nike’s actions “patently anti-competitive and illegal.” Moreover, the complaint says actions by the companies and the universities led to the players “losing their freedom to compete in the open market.”
The following is an excerpt from Spielman’s statement:
“I have filed this amended complaint on behalf of all former players through our team of attorneys. The amended complaint was filed in order to protect the rights of all former collegiate football players associated with IMG and those who will ultimately become former players … I am now committed to pursue this case to the end on behalf of all former players, and to return the individual rights to each and every former player and those who will ultimately become a former player.”
The fight for economic justice for college athletes continues.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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