What started as a “tweet storm” has resulted in a notable settlement for college athletes. In late May, the University of Illinois and its former football player and student, Simon Cvijanovic agreed to settle claims arising from player mistreatment allegations that had initiated a University investigation in 2015.
In 2015, Cvijanovic was told by coaches to “play through” his shoulder and knee injuries, and he took to Twitter and social media to rebuke the coaching staff. This led to an investigation into the university’s player safety practices, leading to the firing of its former head coach and the eventual dismissal of its athletic director.
Cvijanovic told reporters that he’d felt “caught in a broken system,” in which issues of player safety were not prioritized and his complaints were not heard. “I needed social media to get my voice heard,” Cvijanovic said, “and I needed lawyers to manage those conversations with the University.”
Cvijanovic was represented by Bob Geimer and Dan Kotin of Chicago law firm, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, who said the negotiations were “positive and productive,” ultimately yielding a $250,000 settlement agreement.
Geimer stated that Cvijanovic “looks forward to being a leading figure in player safety and an advocate for the fair treatment of players in college athletics,” and Cvijanovic said his dream is to now launch a non-profit that will inspire others to speak out about player safety.
For more about the settlement, visit here.