Former Ohio State great Chris Spielman is suing his alma mater for using his likeness for financial benefit. Now, Ohio State has responded to the suit.
“We immensely value our relationships with all of our former student athletes,”athletic director Gene Smith said, per the Associated Press (via Cleveland.com). “Ohio State is aware of the lawsuit that Chris Spielman has filed, and we are in the process of reviewing it.”
The suit alleges (per the AP story) among other things that “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.”
Certainly, the names and faces of past athletes are used at college programs throughout the country. Also, ESPN’s Darren Rovell passed along information that could potentially prove problematic to Spielman’s case.
Complication in Chris Spielman's lawsuit against Ohio State. Sponsorships were sold to brands by WME/IMG, who represents Spielman.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 14, 2017
If Spielman’s claims are indeed true, it’s hard to imagine that Ohio State would be the only school to do so without the expressed consent of the players. This suit could potentially set a precedent that greats from other schools follow.
This case will be an interesting one to follow in the coming weeks and months. What Ohio State does in response could have ramifications that are felt around the country.