Broadcasters Escape NCAA Athletes' Publicity Rights Suit

Law360, Los Angeles (June 4, 2015, 10:41 PM EDT) -- A Tennessee federal judge tossed a putative class action filed by former college athletes who accused major TV broadcasters and others of profiting from unauthorized use of their names and likenesses, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to prove their case.

In granting a motion to dismiss with prejudice, U.S. District Judge Kevin H. Sharp shot down a group of 10 former student-athletes’ publicity rights claims, saying they did not pass muster under Tennessee law, a decision that also toppled the plaintiffs’ conspiracy and antitrust claims.

There is “little doubt” that top-level college football and basketball is a “big business,” Judge Sharp...

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