Running back Billy Sims of the University of Oklahoma Sooners won college football’s highest honor, the Heisman Trophy, in 1978. But the 4th District Court of Appeal says that two other parties can proceed with a lawsuit over who rightfully owns the trophy — without Sims being a party to the case.

After a stellar college career and a promising start to his professional career with the Detroit Lions, Sims suffered a major knee injury and retired from the Lions in 1984 after the team picked him in the first round of the 1980 draft.