Former Ohio State star Chris Spielman is suing his former school on behalf of current and former Ohio State University (OSU) football players for use of their images without permission.
The suit alleges that the school’s marketing program, which includes 64 Honda-sponsored banners hanging at Ohio Stadium bearing images of OSU athletes, is in violation of antitrust law, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon won a US Supreme Court ruling last year that deemed the NCAA’s use of athletes’ images and likenesses without compensation to be in violation of antitrust laws.
Two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin is among the players featured on the banners, and is being represented by Spielman’s suit.
“Former OSU student-athletes do not share in these revenues even though they have never given informed consent to the widespread and continued commercial exploitation of their images,” the lawsuit alleges, per the report.
Spielman told the Associated Press that he will donate any money he receives from the suit to the Ohio State athletic department.
“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 told the AP.
“We immensely value our relationships with all of our former student athletes,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement released by the school. “Ohio State is aware of the lawsuit that Chris Spielman has filed, and we are in the process of reviewing it.”
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