Billy Corben has proven he knows Miami well. As the director of Cocaine Cowboys and the ESPN 30 for 30 special The U, Corben has forevermore associated himself with two things all Miamians know and love: University of Miami football and blow.
But now, a former UM fullback is hoping to associate Corben another Miami trademark: cheapness.
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Kevin Brinkworth Jr., a fullback at the U from 1991 to 1996, filed a suit Monday claiming Corben brought him on board for The U, a documentary about the legendary Miami Hurricanes of the '80s and early '90s. Brinkworth acted as an ambassador to former players and coaches, but he claims Corben never paid him or credited him in the film.
Courthouse News Service reports that according to the complaint, Corben was in need of a go-between for his interviews because the University of Miami wanted nothing to do with the his studio, Rakontur. While University of Miami reps may still be proud to live on as "the U," they were apparently not so keen on the idea of helping a filmmaker highlight the storied days of hard hits for cash prizes, trash-talking in fatigues, and players who drew the ire of the NCAA and every team they brutalized and danced all over to the sounds of Uncle Luke.
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Without any sort of support from the university, Corben had no easy way to gain access to the people who lived the history he was trying to revisit on film. Brinkworth's complaint states it was because of this situation that Corben approached the former Hurricane and "requested he assist the production of the movie in the capacity of consultant. The parties entered into a written contract, effective November 14, 2008."
That contract, according to the suit, established that Brinkworth would line up interviews with former players and members of the coaching staff and use the footage gained from his efforts in exchange for crediting him in the documentary and paying him for his production assistance. The complaint alleges that although about a third of the film was composed of interview footage that Brinkworth helped Corben make possible, the director never fulfilled his side of the bargain, neither listing the fullback's name in the credits nor paying him a dime of the money his contract had promised him.
Neither Billy Corben, his partner Alfred Spellman, nor David O. Markus, the lawyer who represented Corben last year when his jury duty tweets threatened to negate a court decision, have responded to requests for comment. But if Corben's Twitter feed is any evidence, he's not sweating things too much. It's just the usual stream of jokes and news stories, without any mention of Brinkworth's complaint.