Former Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman is suing the university after a marketing program he says used athletes’ images without permission and subsequently earned compensation off of them.
He filed the antitrust law on behalf of both current and former players, noting that OSU’s marketing program uses the likenesses of the athletes. A Honda-based program has 64 banners hung around Ohio Stadium, which uses such athletes as Spielman, Archie Griffin and Mike Doss.
“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 Associated Press, per the Columbus Dispatch.
Spielman is slated to give his proceeds to a nonprofit group that is linked to Profectus Group, formed by former Ohio State wrestler, Mike DiSbato.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA using names, likeness and images of athletes without proper compensation was a violation. Originally derived from former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, other athletes have since locked arms to ensure athletes receive what they’re owed.
“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. “However, the recent landscape of collegiate athletics has changed, and these institutions and corporations have a duty to treat all former athletes fairly.”