A group of Nebraska football players filed a lawsuit Thursday, hoping a jury will force the Big Ten Conference to reinstate a fall football season.
The lawsuit in Lancaster County District Court contends, among other things, the players are losing a chance for development, exposure for a possible pro career and won’t be able to market themselves to eventually capitalize on name, image and likeness revenue opportunities.
The players want a court order that would keep the Big Ten from going through with its plan to push the football season to the spring. Listed as plaintiffs are Brant and Brig Banks, Alante Brown, Noa Pola-Gates, Jackson Hannah, Garrett Nelson, Ethan Piper and Garrett Snodgrass.
“This lawsuit isn’t about money or damages, it’s about real-life relief,” said Mike Flood, the players’ attorney.
The Big Ten said the lawsuit “has no merit and we will defend the decision to protect all student-athletes as we navigate through this global pandemic. We are actively considering options to get back to competition and look forward to doing so when it is safe to play.”
Gabe Feldman, director of Tulane University’s Sports Law Program, said he doubts the lawsuit goes anywhere.
The Big Ten announced Aug. 11 it would move its football season from fall to spring because of health risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The Pac-12 and other smaller leagues followed suit.