Court: Big Ten Must Turn Over Football Decision Docs

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An attorney representing eight Nebraska football players suing the Big Ten Conference over its postponement of the 2020 fall season announced Wednesday that a court order requires the conference to turn over documents related to that decision.

“Today, the Lancaster County District Court ordered the Big Ten Conference to produce more information and documents regarding the ‘vote,’ as well as the governing documents related to the decision-making process," lead attorney Mike Flood of Omaha, Neb., said in a statement, as reported by 247sports.com. "The Court’s Order recognizes the time-sensitive nature of the lawsuit and imposes a September 12 deadline for the Big Ten to produce responsive documents. The Plaintiff’s retain the right to use traditional discovery methods, including depositions, as the case moves forward.

“Together with co-counsel Mark Laughlin and Pat Cooper, Partners at Fraser Stryker Law Firm in Omaha, Nebraska, our next step will be to visit with our clients regarding the Court’s Order and take the most appropriate next step.”

The 13-page lawsuit contends that Big Ten's decision should be overturned on the grounds that it failed to adhere to established procedures in the decision-making process. The lawsuit, filed in the District Court of Lancaster County, also contends that the postpone was “unjustified” based on flawed medical information. Three main grievances include wrongful interference with business expectations, breach of contract, and declaratory judgment.

In a statement issued last week, the Big Ten maintained that the lawsuit is meritless.

"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," a statement, obtained by 247Sports, read. "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 decision to protect all student-athletes as we navigate through this global pandemic. We are actively considering options to get back to competition and looking forward to doing so when it is safe to play.”

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