UPDATE: We reached out to the OVC for a response. They released a short statement, saying, “We are aware of the lawsuit, but have no further comment at this time.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Ten former college football and basketball players — including former TSU standout Patrick Miller — have filed a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA, eight conferences, and five TV networks, arguing that their images were used without their permission.
The Ohio Valley Conference is named as a defendant in the suit.
According to the Tennessean, “the players argue that the television networks, athletic conferences and licensing agencies conspired with one another to exploit rules forbidding student athletes from ‘competing in the marketplace for the value of their rights of publicity,’ according to the suit.”
It should be noted, the players aren’t suing the schools where they played.
This is an issue that’s been growing for months — starting with the O’Bannon trial, suing the NCAA and EA Sports for using their images in college video games. While this lawsuit is similar, it’s actually focused on a different issue — television.
Essentially, players sign a form giving the NCAA permission to use their name and image to “generally promote” events. The player are arguing — permission is given to the NCAA only, not a third party, i.e. conferences and sports networks, the rights to use their image. The players believe they should be able to sell their own image, much as the NBA Players Association does on the pro level, as part of any TV deals, and that money should go back to the platers.
Much like the O’Bannon suit, this is about compensation. College athletes feel like they should get “a piece of the pie,” with billions being spent on college athletics.
So what specifically are they asking for? Only every penny made: “The Defendants be ordered to disgorge all profits earned via the wrongful use,” with interest.
With this being filed as a class action lawsuit, there could be more athletes joining in the future.