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Snodgrass v. Big Ten Conference: The Fight Over the Right to Play

On August 27, 2020, a group of student-athletes from the University of Nebraska (“Nebraska”) filed suit against the Big Ten Conference, Inc. (“Big Ten”) regarding the Big Ten’s decision to cancel (or postpone) the 2020 football season. On August 5, 2020, the Big Ten released a revised football schedule permitting ten (10) games against Big Ten opponents, but, on August 11, 2020, the Big Ten canceled or postponed the 2020 football season. The student-athletes argue that the Big Ten violated conference governing documents and did not conduct an official vote to cancel the 2020 football season. The student-athletes claim the “Big Ten’s flawed and ambiguous decision-making process has caused and will continue to cause irreparable harm” to the student-athletes. As a result, the student-athletes filed suit claiming tortious interference with business expectancies, breach of contract, and declaratory relief.

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