Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit on Athletes’ Image Usage

As of late, there have been multiple lawsuits brought against the NCAA about compensating college athletes for their play. The most recent case that alleged that athletes’ images were improperly used by multiple networks. That case has now been thrown out by a federal judge.

According to College Basketball Talk, the case stated that players should be compensated for playing in televised games. The lawsuit affected ESPN, CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX. On Thursday, US District Judge Kevin H. Sharp dismissed the case stating that the plaintiffs did not do enough to rectify being compensated.

The plaintiffs in the case were former Vanderbilt football players Javon Marshall, Eric Samuels, and Steven Clarke as well as former basketball and football players from other Division I schools. Sharp stated in a report by The Tennesseean:

The ruling is a win for the networks and conferences in a battle over the billions of dollars earned in college sports. It opposes a judge’s ruling in a similar California case and ensures publicity law — and payments — for college players will be tested in multiple appeals courts.

Sharp dismissed the plaintiffs’ arguments that were based in publicity law, trademark statute and antitrust law, throwing out claims that television networks, NCAA conferences and their licensees were conspiring to exploit rules forbidding student-athletes from making money.

It is unclear whether or not this ruling will affect the Ed O’Bannon case that has been longstanding since July 2009 which resulted in many schools allocating money to meet the full cost of tuition at many Division I programs.