or Earl Campbell taking
Think of face-of-the-program guys who help define not only a football team but a school.
Chris Spielman is that guy at
Ohio State Buckeyes
. Forget football for a moment, the former Buckeyes’ star linebacker is one of the most respected individuals in the university’s 147-year history.
That’s why it pains him so much to sue the school that allowed him to become a two-time consensus All-American and Lombardi Award winner (best lineman or linebacker).
“It’s a big deal. I don’t want it to be,” Spielman told CBS Sports of the anti-trust lawsuit against his alma mater. “I sat around and dreaded doing this because nobody wants to say, ‘Former player sues Ohio State.'”
The potentially ground-breaking anti-trust complaint is seeking money from Ohio State for using the name, image and likeness of Spielman — and 63 other former Buckeyes — in a series of banners around Ohio Stadium.
Call it a Scarlet and Gray O’Bannon. In 2015, former
basketball star Ed O’Bannon and others eventually won a class-action anti-trust suit involving enrolled players.
It left open the possibility that former players could sue for rights to their name, image and likeness. Here we go, then, with the Ohio State suit that cracks opens the door to former players taking ownership of their promotional rights after they leave.
The Ohio State banners are adorned rather conspicuously with a Honda logo. That sponsorship was supposedly sold to the auto maker by IMG, which signed a landmark $110-million deal with Ohio State in 2009.
The deal included in-stadium signage rights.
Spielman and those former Buckeyes want their cut.
“They can use my likeness to promote the university, just don’t put a corporate logo on it,”…