Nebraska football players file lawsuit against Big Ten - Sports Illustrated

Eight Nebraska Football Players File Lawsuit Against Big Ten

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Eight Nebraska football players have filed a lawsuit against the Big Ten conference and are seeking a reversal of the Big Ten's decision to postpone fall sports. 

In a statement from Mike Flood, the lead attorney for the eight students, Flood said that the lawsuit also looks to "award temporary and permanent injunctive relief," and award "nominal damages for breach of contract and tortious interference."

"This lawsuit isn't about money or damages, it's about real-life relief," Flood said. "These student athletes have followed all the precautions, underwent regular testing, and live according to the prescribed guidelines of the world-class experts at UNMC all for the chance to play football in September."

The lawsuit contends that the league's August 11 decision should be overturned because it didn't follow established procedures in the decision-making process and was "unjustified" based on misapplied medical information.

The Big Ten released a statement Thursday evening, saying, "The Big Ten Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors overwhelmingly voted to postpone the fall sports season based on medical concerns and in the best interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes. This was an important decision for our 14 member institutions and the surrounding communities. 

"We share the disappointment that some student-athletes and their families are feeling. However, this lawsuit has no merit and we will defend the decisions to protect all student-athletes as we navigate through this global pandemic."

The players represented are Garrett Snodgrass, Garrett Nelson, Ethan Piper, Noa Pola-Gates, Alante Brown, Brant Banks, Brig Banks and Jackson Hannah.

In the wake of the Big Ten's mid-August decision, Huskers head coach Scott Frost, athletic director Bill Moos, chancellor Ronnie Green and president Ted Carter released a joint statement on the initial decision:

"We are very disappointed by the Big Ten Conference to postpone the fall football season, as we have been and continue to be ready to play.

"Safety comes first. Based on the conversations with our medical experts, we continue to strongly believe the absolute safest place for our student athletes is within the rigorous safety protocols, testing procedures, and the structure and support provided by Husker Athletics. 

Warren told Yahoo Sports on the night of the league's decision that Nebraska would "Not and be a member of the Big Ten Conference," if it decided to schedule games. 

Warren later added in an August 19 open letter that the Big Ten Council's decision “was overwhelmingly in support of postponing fall sports and will not be revisited.”

Still, in late August, Ohio State QB Justin Fields and Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence launched a petition to try and get the conference to re-examine its decision. The petition received more than 300,000 online signatures.