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Chris Spielman sues Ohio State over use of likeness

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An Ohio State legend is suing the school.

Former Buckeyes linebacker Chris Spielman, who also starred at the NFL level, has sued the university for using his likeness without permission or compensation.

According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit challenges marketing programs that use player images, with Nike and Honda names as co-conspirators. Among other things, the action targets a collection of 64 banners at Ohio Stadium bearing photos of former players. The complaint filed by Spielman is a class action, aimed at encompassing all former players whose likenesses have been used.

Spielman told the AP that he will donate any money to the school’s athletic department; his objective is to raise awareness nationally regarding similar practices at other schools.

“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.

Two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin is among the athletes whose likenesses are being used. He told the AP that he’ll donate whatever he receives to a group that aids former Ohio State athletes in financial need.

“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 AP. “However, the recent landscape of collegiate athletics has changed, and these institutions and corporations have a duty to treat all former athletes fairly.”

It seems like a no-brainer, slam-dunk piece of litigation, especially after the Ed O’Bannon case resulted in a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that this practice violates federal antitrust law. It’s stunning that major colleges would continue to engage in practices that so blatantly exploit the rights of others.

Other than, you know, putting kids to work, making millions from their efforts, and not paying them.

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18 Responses to “Chris Spielman sues Ohio State over use of likeness”
  1. thirdand43 says: Jul 14, 2017 4:49 PM

    A victory by Spielman could severely impact many things such as ESPN’s Classic college football replays. While I agree that college athletes should receive more of the gravy, my non-attorney hunch is that photographs and film/video of players taken during their college careers will likely remain the property of the university to do with as they please. Maybe they will ask the player as a courtesy, but I don’t think that if the player refuses or asks for money that the university will have to comply. That said, the NCAA is quite a racket.

  2. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: Jul 14, 2017 4:50 PM

    No one is holding a gun to these kids heads to play football. I’d say in most instances they play because it got them a scholarship (you know, money) or they are using it as a stepping stone to get to eventually get to the NFL, where they will be paid handsomely.

    If college kids don’t like playing and not being paid, they have a fantastic opportunity to get a degree and join the workforce like the rest of us.

  3. mysterytonite says: Jul 14, 2017 5:19 PM

    Kids need to be paid in college, the sponsers/schools and corporations get rich of the exploitation of them. However, instead of paying them out right away, have them sock it in an account where it will accrue interest and give it to them the day only if/when they graduate.

  4. bearssuck says: Jul 14, 2017 5:42 PM

    Sounds like he’s broke.

  5. frojo112963 says: Jul 14, 2017 5:55 PM

    Average annual fees at US universities (2016-17) range from $20,090 for in-state public, $35,370 for public out of state, and $45,370 for private, non-profit schools. The AVERAGE of those is $27,610 annually for a scholarship player.

    While I agree that they should be compensated if their likeness is used after they leave the school (with the caveat of things like replaying games on ESPN Classic being covered by their commitment to play under the scholarship), please tell me where any of these kids will start at $27,000/year if they don’t go to college. They are “paid” via scholarship to play sports for the school of THEIR OWN CHOICE! How many would fork up the tuition/fees out of their own pocket to attend that school if not for the scholarships they are receiving.

    AND if they study hard and get a degree that will better their future earnings in life, please tell me how they are not being compensated fairly!

    As for the argument about schools/corporations making money off them, does your boss make profits off of the work you do? Should you receive an equal share of his/her profit margin? They would probably tell you to find a new job if you don’t like it.

  6. campcouch says: Jul 14, 2017 5:56 PM

    So Archie didn’t just show up to his job at Ohio State and tell them to not use his face? Spielman is going to take the money and give it back to them? Weirdness abounds.

  7. notlistinin says: Jul 14, 2017 6:16 PM

    “Other than, you know, putting kids to work, making millions from their efforts, and not paying them.”

    Yeah like all those kids from the Fresno State Bulldogs 2016 campaign (1-11) or Texas State Bobcats (2-10) ’16 team, ranked 128 and 127 respectively, think it’s a bad deal.

    What, in effect Mr. Florio is advocating, is financially crippling and ultimately disbanding those programs in the bottom 50, unable to pay the players because they are so bad that they can’t generate the revenue. Therefore, if the max number of scholarships per FBS team is 85, and 50 programs get axed because of paying the players, Florio is advocating that 4,250 young men, mostly black Americans, not get college scholarships.
    This doesn’t even touch the elephant in the room, Title IX. But as we all know, the feminist movement on campus in ’17 is very forgiving of any transgressions of the patriarchy, real or otherwise. Oh wait…

    It’s a stupid idea, Mr. Florio. This world is full of things that are the way they are because there aren’t viable alternatives. Paying NCAA football players is one of those things. Give it up or come up with a real solution that is palatable to EVERYONE.

  8. uncommon1 says: Jul 14, 2017 6:33 PM

    Every player on a college team should be compensated for 15 hours of work, per week, at a wage that is similar to entry level pay for a cafeteria worker at their University ($10/hr?).

    I say this because these student athletes are unable to get a PT job because they have to spend so much of their time in practice, in the gym, film study and travelling. They don’t need to get rich, but deserve a VERY LITTLE bit of money to cover expenses like car insurance, cell phone, groceries, weed, roofies, booze. The essentials

  9. abninf says: Jul 14, 2017 6:43 PM

    Other than, you know, putting kids to work, making millions from their efforts, and not paying them.
    ======================================

    They have to pay their own room, board and tuition?

  10. schmitty2 says: Jul 14, 2017 6:46 PM

    bearssuck says:
    Jul 14, 2017 5:42 PM

    Sounds like he’s broke.

    Read the article Skippy. He said he would “donate” any money to the athletic dept. Also he is a football analyst so I’m sure he’s fine financially.

  11. Liberalsruineverything says: Jul 14, 2017 6:49 PM

    Curse you Ed O’Bannon!! EA NCAA Football was my favorite Xbox game and they haven’t made a new one since 2014 because of him.

  12. chris6523 says: Jul 14, 2017 6:57 PM

    This doesn’t even touch the elephant in the room, Title IX

    ________________________________

    If this were a tweet, it would get tweet of the day. People who are advocating giving a paycheck to college athletes don’t ever put together any sort of realistic scenario. You start paying football players, You gotta pay everyone else

  13. Bob says: Jul 14, 2017 6:58 PM

    “Other than, you know, putting kids to work, making millions from their efforts, and not paying them.”

    They get paid in the form of scholarships. Nobody is forcing them to go to college.

  14. reddzen says: Jul 14, 2017 7:03 PM

    Help me I am arguing for Florio for the second times in three days….

    notlistinin you aren’t listening. While I don’t agree with all of the arguments you are talking about a system in which college players bolt the small game for the big game because of financial concerns. It dilutes all products. The small programs play the big names (which dilutes the college program) so they can get the $$s for their programs. No scholarships are at risk. Those scholarships also don’t pay for a full ride, they tend to pay for tuition not for a super-athlete that needs to eat 3500 calories a day.

    The NCAA model is flawed, and has been for a long time. It is called “disruption.” You find a model that works for everyone. When you stay in the past you never grow. The NCAA system needs to grow. Like fast before it becomes anachronistic.

  15. ajigel says: Jul 14, 2017 7:09 PM

    frojo112963 says:
    Jul 14, 2017 5:55 PM
    AND if they study hard and get a degree that will better their future earnings in life, please tell me how they are not being compensated fairly!

    As for the argument about schools/corporations making money off them, does your boss make profits off of the work you do? Should you receive an equal share of his/her profit margin? They would probably tell you to find a new job if you don’t like it.
    ______________

    These all sound like good talking points, but the desire to get paid gets more traction with me when you factor in injuries and what we know about life expectancy for some of these guys.

    The average student doesn’t typically open themselves up to constant risk of injury, both of short term impact and lifelong impact. Sure, when you’re playing you have access to the training and medical staff, but when you leave that’s all gone. And if you suffer a serious enough injury to prematurely end your career, you’ll likely lose your scholarship and medical in the process.

    At least give the kids something when they are done to at least cover the lasting effects of the game. Sure, some college players will go on to be millionaires in the NFL, but the vast majority of college players won’t get a chance at the next level, all while dealing with the consequences, while the schools are getting rich.

  16. orangedestroyer says: Jul 14, 2017 7:10 PM

    Obviously, the NCAA is nothing but a money grubbing organization.
    Anything to reign in their power and shyster image, would be welcomed

  17. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Jul 15, 2017 9:50 AM

    the issue of how to compensate college players for their work in generating the ncaa billions is the main course, soup and salad.

    the use of 64 images on banners honoring former players is the sorbet to clean your palate after you negotiate the main course….

    i don’t see how the banners are generating much income myself…

  18. silvernblacksabbath says: Jul 17, 2017 12:36 PM

    bearssuck says:
    Jul 14, 2017 5:42 PM

    Sounds like he’s broke.
    ———————————
    Yep and donating it all.. Dipstick 🙂

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