Chris Spielman was a two-time All-American linebacker and Lombardi Award winner during his playing career at Ohio State, and he is now suing his former university.
Spielman, who is now a college football analyst for FOX Sports, filed a class action lawsuit against Ohio State on Friday to block player images being used for promotional purposes.
According to ElevenWarriors.com, Spielman alleges that the images are being unfairly used for financial gain, and the suit also names Honda, IMG Sports Network, and Nike.
Spielman said in a statement that he doesn’t have any financial interest in the outcome of the lawsuit, and he will donate any money he wins from the suit back to the athletic department of Ohio State.
“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.
“My hope is that this litigation will level the playing field for those affected players, and that they too can benefit from the dollars flowing into collegiate athletics.”
Two-time Heisman trophy winner Archie Griffin isn’t named in the suit, but he said he is in “full support” of players being fairly compensated for their images being used by the school.
If Spielman wins the case, it will be intriguing to see if other former players follow suit for other schools. A similar case happened with Ed O’Bannon about using a player’s likeness without compensating them, and it’s prevalent among almost every college sports program.
A win for Spielman could result in players being compensated for the usage of their image in the future, which would result in a drastic change for college athletics. College athletes are referred to as “amateurs” now, but being compensated could change that term and the future of college sports.
(h/t Eleven Warriors)