Tennessee state law requires that an individual be compensated for the work that they perform. An exception to this rule is made for student athletes, who are often required to sign releases stating they are not being paid. However, 10 former athletes who say these releases are “unconscionable and vague” have filed a Nashville wage dispute claim.
Court documents show the athletes were all participants in televised games. They believe the broadcasters and networks that aired the games were making billions of dollars, while the athletes were only receiving compensation for their costs to attend the game. According to an article from ESPN, the athletes believe they should be fairly compensated for the use and licensing of their names and images.
Furthermore, attorneys accuse the broadcasters of “colluding” with conferences, like the SEC, to control and limit the amount of compensation student athletes can receive.
The case was filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Nashville and will be heard sometime in the near future.
At Ponce Law, we understand the importance of having laws in place that protect workers’ rights to fair and equal compensation. That’s why our team of Nashville employment lawyers are hopeful a decision in this case will bring closure to the athletes who feel they have been treated unfairly.