Eight Nebraska players have filed a lawsuit against the Big Ten. The end goal of the lawsuit being a reversal of the decision to postpone the season, and more transparency on how commissioner Kevin Warren and the league arrived at the decision to cancel the season.
Omaha.com broke the story and has the details.
Many of the players represented in the suit are the children of the Nebraska parents that mentioned legal action as an option last week, and that have largely led the charge against the conference since the Big Ten's decision to not play this fall.
According to the article, listed among the three counts in the document against the Big Ten are:
- Wrongful interference with business expectations. For football student-athletes, the season represents a chance to work toward a career as a professional player as well as develop personal brands for eventual monetary gain under name/image/likeness legislation. Canceling the fall campaign based on what is now outdated or inaccurate medical information — while not taking into account why players are actually safer in a team environment that tests them regularly — cannot be justified.
- Breach of contract. The league — through reputation, public statements and its own documents — has established it exists in part to benefit its student-athletes. It potentially violated that contract by not holding an actual vote within its Council of Presidents and Chancellors.
- Declaratory judgment. The Big Ten not actually voting on the decision, or at least being unwilling and/or unable to produce records of such a vote, violates its governing documents. The decision should be invalid and unenforceable.
Unlike most lawsuits, this one isn't seeking significant monetary damages, and the players "won't seek or accept damages of $75,000 or greater."
The attorney representing the players, Mike Flood, shares that his clients simply want to know whether there was an actual vote, and the details of that vote, and if the Big Ten followed its own rules in reaching that decision before adding that this lawsuit is the only recourse the players really have at this point.
Update: The Big Ten has issued this response.