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.