Nebraska players sue the Big Ten

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As the immortal (actually, he’s still alive) Doug Llewelyn used to say when taking Raymond Babbitt’s favorite TV show off the air, “Don’t take the law into your own hands. Take ’em to court.”

That’s exactly what multiple Nebraska football players are doing.

In a lawsuit filed today in Lancaster County, Nebraska (i.e., home-field advantage), eight players sued the Big Ten over the decision to cancel the fall 2020 season. The lawsuit includes claims for tortious interference with business expectancies and breach of contract, along with a request for a declaration that the decision to cancel the fall 2020 season is invalid and unenforceable.

The players argue that the Big Ten Counsel of Presidents and Chancellors failed to actually vote on cancellation of the fall 2020 season, in violation of bylaws that require at least 60 percent of the Council to approve the decision. They also claim that the Big Ten relied on a study of potential COVID-19 health effects on patients who are “much older” than college football players, and not in similar physical condition to them. The players likewise tout the notion that a college football environment is “safer” for the athletes than an environment where college football isn’t being played.

The plaintiffs also seek immediate relief in the form of a temporary restraining order, which would then become an effort to secure a preliminary injunction. It’s an uphill climb, but if the players prevail the Big Ten season could end up going forward.

27 responses to “Nebraska players sue the Big Ten

  1. “It’s outrageous, egregious, preposterous!” – lead counsel Jackie Chiles lol

  2. I take it they play football but don’t learn anything at Nebraska. This is as dumb as it comes and will get tossed out of court before the ink is dry on the paperwork.

  3. “The players likewise tout the notion that a college football environment is “safer” for the athletes than an environment where college football isn’t being played.”


    Ok, so are they saying if there is football then they are less likely to (or maybe not at all) go out, drink, have fun, violate social distancing rules, etc.? Mind blown if that’s their argument.

  4. Not joking, Nebraska recently changed their tourism motto to: “Honestly, it’s not for everyone.” I’m starting to see why.

  5. Big Ten should tell Nebraska to take a hike and go join the PAC-12 or Big 12 over the grounds that they’re not worth it.

  6. Eject Nebraska from the B1G, bring in Kansas. At least that’s an AAU school. And it wouldn’t be much of a drop off in football. That says all you need to know about Nebraska football.

  7. You know the coach is behind this.

    Maybe they should just sue to leave the conference. Trust me, the Conference will have that slot filled by 8:00am Friday.

  8. Not entirely clear but it would appear their argument isn’t that the Big 10 canceled league play but rather that they forbid Nebraska from playing on their own. Couple weird things about that: 1) It wasn’t clear that Nebraska even would have been able to line up games. Major conferences are all locked in with their schedules already so they’d have to of hoped to sign a full slate of minor conference teams if they were able. 2) Assuming they had played this Fall, they’d have been obligated to also play with the Big 10 this coming Spring, meaning they’d have been playing two seasons back-to-back which sounds like a recipe for tons of injuries.

  9. 99.99% of their population is unaffected by COVID – I don’t blame them for being PO’d.

  10. Sometimes you need to forget about the money and someone needs to use common sense. That is what happened here, Nebraska is looking at the money while everyone else is using their heads and focusing on safety. U of Neb needed someone to step in and protect them from themselves…the lawsuit is a waste of time.

  11. Would playing the football season require any coaches, refs, cameramen, security, etc who are older than the players to risk exposure? Would it be safe for fans to attend, and would players be willing to indemnify the schools with first money coming from their future nfl salaries if fans get sick and sue? Can movie theatre employees sue the theatre if it wont pay them to put on a show without fans in the seats?

  12. Two schools in SEC struggling with Covid cases…Auburn has greater than 800 and Alabama over 500

  13. This is no longer about playing football. Look at Lincoln’s record for the most consecutive sell outs. Look at the bill for the programs’s new multi million dollar training grounds construction project. Look at the ex head coaches still on the payroll from contract buyouts If the Big Ten doesn’t play this year Nebraska will be so deep in the Red (no pun intended) that simply cutting other athletic programs won’t be enough to balance the budget.

  14. Since running to the Big 10 for a payday, NU has proven time and time again they can’t win in the Big 10. This will be no different.

  15. good luck to a school who hasn’t been relative in college football since the mid 90s

  16. I suspect this will be dismissed due to the players lacking the standing to file the suit. Players have no agreement with the conference, they just play for a school who happens to be in the conference. (Example being when Nebraska changed conferences the players weren’t all released because they were Big 12 players–they stayed with the school because they were Nebraska players.) They also have no damages to speak of since their scholarships are unaffected. (And even the scholarships are between them and the school, not them and the conference.) This amounts to you the employee trying to sue some company your employer has an agreement with and that typically isn’t allowed because you personally weren’t a party to that agreement.

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