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Former linebacker Chris Spielman sues Ohio State
15 July 2017, 10:11 | Justin Tyler
Former Buckeye linebacker and Fox Sports analyst Chris Spielman has filed a class action lawsuit July 14 against Ohio State to "block the usage of player images for promotional purposes".
An Ohio State spokesman said he was looking into the matter. The linebacker is a two time All-American during his time in Columbus from 1985 to 1987. He set a school record for career solo tackles with 283. He's filing the lawsuit on behalf of himself as well as current and former Ohio State players.
Spielman, who was a four-time Pro Bowler during a 10-year National Football League career, said he plans to donate the lawsuit rewards to the Profectus Group, a non-profit group that provides financial assistance to former Ohio State athletes in financial need.
This story has been corrected to show Stefanie Spielman died in 2009, not 1999. It deals with the use of athletes images.
Certainly, the names and faces of past athletes are used at college programs throughout the country.
Griffin told The Associated Press he fully supports the rights of former athletes to receive compensation from corporations and universities that benefit from the unauthorized use of players' names and likenesses.
"My hope is that this litigation will level the playing field for those affected players, and that they too can benefit from the dollars flowing into collegiate athletics".
Spielman also said attaching his name to Honda puts him in a hard situation given a separate sponsorship deal he has with a local Mazda dealership.
The battle between Spielman and Ohio State has been going on since November, 2016.
According to the Columbus-Dispatch, OSU, IMG, Honda, and Nike are accused of "unjust and monopolistic behaviors" and the suit requests compensation above $75,000. Spielman plans to donate the money right back to the Ohio State athletic department. "The problem comes when they slap a corporate sponsor on my name and image without my permission or without giving me or any of our ex-players the ability to negotiate", Spielman said.
"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.
After the famous Ed O'Bannon case made its way to the Supreme Court, resulting in a decision that this kind of act violates antitrust law, it makes sense for Spielman and Griffin to go after Ohio State for the same thing.
"We immensely value our relationships with all of our former student athletes", Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said.
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