clear
Friday September 22nd, 2017 8:10PM

APNewsBreak: Ohio St. great sues university over likenesses

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — One of Ohio State's most famous football stars sued the university Friday over a marketing program he says used athletes' images without permission and robbed them of compensation.

Linebacker Chris Spielman filed the antitrust lawsuit in federal court in Columbus on behalf of current and former Ohio State football players.

The complaint targets Ohio State marketing programs and contracts that promote the university using likenesses of athletes, including a Honda-sponsored program of 64 banners hung around Ohio Stadium featuring photos of former players.

In addition to Spielman, some of the other Ohio State greats whose pictures appear on those banners include running back Archie Griffin, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1974 and 1975; lineman Jim Stillwagon, who played on the 1968 national championship team; and Mike Doss, a safety who played on the 2002 national championship team.

All are among the athletes Spielman is suing on behalf of, said Brian Duncan, a Columbus attorney who represents Spielman.

The lawsuit names Ohio State and talent management giant IMG as defendants and names Honda and Nike as co-conspirators. Nike is targeted for its "Legends of the Scarlet and Gray" vintage jersey licensing program and other apparel contracts with Ohio State.

The lawsuit accuses the university and the companies of "unjust and monopolistic behaviors" and asks for compensation above $75,000, as is typical in such complaints, while noting Ohio State makes millions in revenue from merchandising programs involving ex-athletes.

"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 said.

An Ohio State spokesman said he was looking into the matter.

Messages seeking comment were left with New York-based IMG, Tokyo -based Honda Motor Co. and Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike Inc.

Spielman sued in his own right and on behalf of a newly formed company, Profectus Group Inc., created by ex-Ohio State wrestling standout Mike DiSbato, representing former college athletes. Griffin is also affiliated with the company, Duncan said.

The filing comes after eight months of unsuccessful negotiations with the university, Duncan said.

Spielman told The Associated Press in a statement he will donate any money obtained through the lawsuit directly to the university's 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 said.

Griffin told the AP 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.

"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."

Griffin plans to donate his proceeds to a nonprofit affiliated with the Profectus Group, which will serve as a players assistance fund for ex-Ohio State athletes in need.

The lawsuit is the latest development in a trend of athletes fighting for compensation they say they're owed as a result of their participation in intercollegiate sports.

Earlier this year, the NCAA and 11 major athletic conferences announced they agreed to pay $208.7 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit filed by former college athletes who claimed the value of their scholarships was illegally capped.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court left in place lower court rulings that said the NCAA's use of names, images and likenesses of college athletes without compensation violated antitrust law. The lawsuit was originally brought by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon and later joined by other athletes.

___

Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Big-hitting Cilic tops Querrey to make Wimbledon final
Marin Cilic rides big serve to reach Wimbledon final, beating Sam Querrey 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5
1:15PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Lawmakers say world owes debt of gratitude to Liu Xiaobo
Lawmakers say the death of Liu Xiaobo is a catastrophic loss for China and the entire world, and his contributions to human rights should never be forgotten
1:10PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Governors look to talk to Pence about GOP health care plan
Vice President Mike Pence will address U.S. governors in Rhode Island, and some of them say they'll be looking to speak with him about the latest Republican health care overhaul
1:04PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump visit a security challenge at women's golf tournament
Some of the best golfers in the world are competing in New Jersey this weekend, and they could be partly upstaged by a guy whose best finish was to win an age-group club title
12:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
Red Sox cut losses, designate Sandoval for assignment
The Boston Red Sox have cut their losses with Pablo Sandoval and designated him for assignment
12:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Americans in girls' final at Wimbledon
Americans will play for the girls' title at Wimbledon
11:46AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Education official apologizes anew, this time to victims
The Education Department's civil rights chief says she's sorry for making "flippant" remarks attributing 90 percent of campus sexual assault claims to both parties being drunk
9:43PM ( 15 hours ago )
Clemson's Swinney not worried about replacing missing pieces
Dabo Swinney isn't concerned about losing more than 77 percent of his team's offensive production from last season's national championship team
7:56PM ( 17 hours ago )
Florida State's Jimbo Fisher eager to tackle tough start
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher hopes his players will be ready for a demanding opening month that could quickly determine whether the Seminoles are playoff contenders
7:02PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Police release arrest video of Buffalo Bills player in Ohio
Police have released cruiser and body cam video of Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Adolphus Washington's arrest in Ohio on a weapons charge
9:58PM ( 1 day ago )
Several SEC coaches facing questions about job security
Gus Malzahn and Kevin Sumlin got their Southeastern Conference head coaching tenures off to blazing starts
7:00PM ( 1 day ago )
Alabama's Nick Saban hopes team learns from failure
Alabama's Nick Saban hopes team learns from title game failure
6:28PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Beyonce introduces newborn twins Sir Carter and Rumi
Beyonce has finally debuted her twins a month after they were born
11:57AM ( 1 hour ago )
Castmates pay tribute to late 'Glee' star Cory Monteith
Some former "Glee" castmates of Cory Monteith have paid tribute to the late actor on the fourth anniversary of his death
9:44AM ( 3 hours ago )
Fired voice of Kermit the Frog says he's 'devastated'
The puppeteer who was fired after 27 years as Kermit the Frog said Thursday he is "devastated to have failed" Muppets founder and his mentor Jim Henson.
9:15PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Stars react to nominations for the 69th Emmy Awards
Stars like Elisabeth Moss and Leslie Jones react to their nominations for the 68th Emmy Awards
4:13PM ( 21 hours ago )
The Latest: TV academy change boosts NBC's Emmy nods total
The Latest: TV academy change boosts NBC's Emmy nods total
4:00PM ( 21 hours ago )
'SNL,' Westworld' lead Emmy Award nominations with 22 nods
'Saturday Night Live' and 'Westworld' lead the Emmy Award nominations tally tied with 22 nods each.
3:09PM ( 22 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Gov. Brown makes dire plea to save California climate law
California Gov. Jerry Brown is calling climate change "a threat to organized human existence" and warning of devastation from forest fires and disease if lawmakers fail to renew the state's signature program to fight the problem
12:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump, administration press Republicans to back health bill
President Donald Trump and other administration are lobbying Republicans from both sides of the Atlantic to back the Senate GOP's reworked health care bill
12:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
Citigroup profit falls 3 percent, hurt by credit costs
Citigroup profit falls 3 percent as bank sets aside more money to cover souring loans
10:54AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Trump data chief to talk to House Russia panel
President Donald Trump's campaign data and digital director says he plans to speak with the House intelligence committee as part of its Russia probe
9:22AM ( 3 hours ago )
Citigroup profits fall 3 percent, hurt by credit costs
Citigroup's second-quarter profits fell 3 percent from a year earlier as the bank had to set aside more money to cover souring loans
8:29AM ( 4 hours ago )
Global stocks steady as earnings and US data eyed
Global stock markets are modestly higher in a narrow range as investors await a raft of corporate earnings beginning next week
8:08AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Ex-coach Houston Nutt sues Ole Miss, alleging smear campaign
Former Mississippi coach Houston Nutt has filed a civil lawsuit against the university and its athletics foundation, alleging a breach of his contract because of false statements made by school officials during an ongoing NCAA investigation
4:41PM ( 1 day ago )
It's Saban & Sumlin's turns at the podium at SEC media days
It's Nick Saban and Alabama's turn at Southeastern Conference media days
2:22AM ( 2 days ago )
East still least? Florida, Georgia vying for SEC title
East still least? Florida, Georgia vying for SEC title
5:49PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Big-hitting Cilic tops Querrey to make Wimbledon final
Marin Cilic rides big serve to reach Wimbledon final, beating Sam Querrey 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5
1:15PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Lawmakers say world owes debt of gratitude to Liu Xiaobo
Lawmakers say the death of Liu Xiaobo is a catastrophic loss for China and the entire world, and his contributions to human rights should never be forgotten
1:10PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Governors look to talk to Pence about GOP health care plan
Vice President Mike Pence will address U.S. governors in Rhode Island, and some of them say they'll be looking to speak with him about the latest Republican health care overhaul
1:04PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Russian-American lobbyist says he was in Trump son's meeting
A Russian-American lobbyist says he attended a June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump's son that was billed as part of a Russian government effort to help the Republican campaign
12:37PM ( 43 minutes ago )
The Latest: Federer wins 1st set vs. Berdych at Wimbledon
Roger Federer wins 1st set 7-6 (4) against Tomas Berdych in 2nd semifinal at Wimbledon
12:32PM ( 47 minutes ago )