A Giant Mis-Snap: Jason Pierre-Paul’s July 4th Firework Accident Leads to Privacy Suit Against Adam Schefter and ESPN

By Joseph Brooks, July 18, 2016

This time of year, there are always warnings about firework safety and some of the different risks and hazards that go along with igniting them.  However, on July 4, 2015, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was at his home in South Florida when he ignored all of these warnings and “procured a large amount of fireworks for a Fourth of July celebration.”  While Pierre-Paul was igniting one of the fireworks, an explosion went off in his hand and he was immediately transported to the Jackson Memorial Hospital.  Pierre-Paul was rushed into surgery where more than a dozen pins were inserted to stabilize his injuries which included a broken thumb, an index finger that required amputation, a middle finger that “would never be the same,” and a palm in need of multiple skin grafts.

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With Over 50 Wins Throughout His Career, One of Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Came Outside the Ring

By Michael Romeo, July 7, 2016

Muhammad Ali

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/displayelevencollective/

Most people remember Muhammad Ali as the greatest boxer the sport has ever seen. But, may of us forget the impact Ali had outside the ring.  During his tenure at the top of the boxing world, the United States was knee deep in the Vietnam War. And with the Vietnam war, came the draft. When Ali was asked to comment about his status as being eligible for the draft, he stated, rather bluntly, “I ain’t got nothing against them Viet Cong.”  Shortly thereafter, the Illinois Athletic Commission asked Ali to publicly apologize for his anti-war remarks.  Ali partially complied, and he did make a public statement; he publicly refused to apologize.

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Is There Sufficient Evidence in Favor of Ryan Zimmerman’s and Ryan Howard’s Defamation Claims Against Al Jazeera?

By Amelia Curotto, June 21, 2016

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/imatty35

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/imatty35

On December 27, 2015, Al Jazeera broadcasted The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers, a documentary about professional athletes and prohibited performance-enhancing drugs.  The documentary follows Liam James Collins, a former athlete acting as an undercover reporter, interviewing various pharmacists and drug providers. The interviews implicated many athletes in taking performance-enhancing drugs, including statements that both Ryan Zimmerman, first baseman of the Washington Nationals, and Ryan Howard, first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, use a steroid known as Delta-2.

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The Starting Five: 5 Random Thoughts About College Athletics

By Vince Nicastro, April 27, 2016

In today’s edition of The Starting Five, former Athletic Director for Villanova University and current Associate Director for the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law Vince Nicastro considers using student fees and/or tuition dollars to finance college athletic programs, creating nebulously defined athletic program positions, expanding the number of teams playing in bowl games, watching football and basketball coach hiring cycles, and evaluating existing student athlete transfer rules.

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Scratching the Surface: Manning Alleged Sexual Assault Incident One of Many

By Macy Manolis, April 11, 2016

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemorbeck/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemorbeck/

Peyton Manning’s alleged sexual abuse of Ms. Jamie Naughright is raising questions about the newly retired quarterback’s character, as well as that of his alma mater, the University of Tennessee. Although the incident occurred nearly two decades ago, its facts are being looked at anew after multiple women brought suit against the University this February, claiming to have been sexually assaulted by male athletes.  In their complaint, these women allege numerous Title IX violations by the school, an adjudication process heinously biased against victims, and a pattern of sexual assault by male athletes. It remains to be seen what will come of this lawsuit, but headway is being made considering multiple athletes accused in the complaint will be tried for rape this summer.  As for Manning, the allegations will likely slip into the shadows again in light of his newly announced retirement.

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What If They Forgot to Record the Super Bowl?

By Michael Risch, Professor, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, April 7, 2016

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apapp/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apapp/

Villanova University law professor Michael Risch considers a scenario where one of the most important events in American sports – the Super Bowl – simply failed to be recorded. Perhaps surprisingly, such a scenario actually happened: not only was the footage of Super Bowl I lost, but also parts or all of other Super Bowls, World Series games, and NBA Championship games. A legal battle has arisen between the NFL and the owner of a very rare partial recording of that first Super Bowl, concerning issues of copyright and ownership over this crucial piece of American sports history.

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The Debate Over Student Athlete Compensation Hits Home in Berger v. NCAA

By Greg Laudadio, March 30, 2016

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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jayrobertdenney/

One of the most controversial issues in sports law today is whether student athletes should be compensated for their participation in collegiate athletics; the latest chapter in that saga has its roots in the Philadelphia region. This past month, a Federal District Court judge for the Southern District of Indiana ruled against three University of Pennsylvania track and field athletes, who together contended that NCAA student athletes are employees of their universities and are thus entitled to at least a minimum wage for their services. The Indiana District Court ruled in favor of the defendants, the NCAA and 123 Division I NCAA schools (including the University of Pennsylvania), and in doing so perpetuated the status quo of withholding compensation from student athletes, beyond scholarship money for tuition.

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Rams Won’t Escape to L.A. Quietly: St. Louis Fans Bring Deception and Personal Seat License Claims

By Eric Alkon, March 28, 2016

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasa/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasa/

It seems that football fans in St. Louis have more than just scathing criticism up their sleeves after recently losing the Rams as their football team. Recently, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the organization, claiming that the team’s owner made false and misleading statements regarding the team’s relocation plans.  The fans argue that owner Stan Kroenke and company deceived fans, causing them to rely on this deception when purchasing, among other items, tickets, merchandise, and concessions. While recovering damages related to merchandise and concessions appears to be a long shot, the plaintiffs’ claim related to season ticket purchases does raise some interesting questions about an organization’s commitment to personal seat licenses (PSLs) after the team has packed up and left the city permanently.

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Sports Gambling in New Jersey: The Wild, Wild East? 

By Jordan Hollander, Esq., March 17, 2016

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tschloss/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tschloss/

A few weeks ago before a packed courtroom in Philadelphia, lawyers and others hoping to see an expansion of sports wagering outside of Nevada witnessed legal heavyweights deftly answer (or attempt to dodge) a barrage of questions from the full complement of judges for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of NCAA, et al. v. Governor of the State of New Jersey, et al. The rare en banc hearing before the full court offered observers some insight into the complicated statutory and constitutional issues at play and also left many new questions unanswered

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Shut Out Trafficking at Villanova University

March 11, 2016

Image Credit to UNICEF

Image Credit to UNICEF

From March 14-17, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Shut Out Trafficking program is coming to Villanova University campus. Villanova Athletics will partner with Villanova University’s Center for Peace and Justice Education, Villanova University’s Charles Widger Law School Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation and The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law in a cross-curricular coalition to bring awareness and educational programming to our students, staff and faculty. Today, the Moorad Sports Law Journal Blog is honored to share pieces from two of the speakers who will be part of the week of activities for Shut Out Trafficking: Emily Pasnak-Lapchick, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, considers the intersection of sports and human trafficking, and Richard E. Lapchick, UCF DeVos Sport Business Management Program Chair, looks at sport’s power for social change. For more information about Shut Out Trafficking at Villanova University, click here.


 

The Secret Life of the Professional Umpire

By Sarah Ebersole-Holzhauer, March 8, 2016

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/43555660@N00/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/43555660@N00/

On Tuesday February 9, 2016, a press release revealed that several international tennis umpires face charges of corruption and permanent banishment from the profession.  These umpires have been accused of taking bribes and manipulating scores; the allegations have opened up to a revelation of multiple other sanctions imposed on umpires who used their position to gamble on match outcomes. The presumed professional cover-up has led to pleas for more transparency in sports governance issues from influential campaigners and media committee members – a call for coverage against a rising wave of corruption.

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The Player Behind the Mask: Should Transgender Youth Athletes Be Able to Play on Teams of Their Gender Identity?

By Kelsey Krier, March 2, 2016

The legal issue of whether or not transgender youth athletes should be permitted to participate in school funded athletic programs has become a topic of increased debate in recent years. The Department of Education’s updated policy, clarifying Title IX’s extension to all students, including transgender students, may imply that future discrimination against transgender youth athletes would fall under Title IX’s protections. Meanwhile, state associations across the country have formed policies regarding transgender student-athletes in school funded sports programs. Caselaw may help to tease out this issue, but the legal debate certainly continues.

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The Starting 5 – Random Thoughts About College Athletics

By Vince Nicastro, February 26, 2016

In his new series, former Villanova University Athletic Director Vince Nicastro provides brief assessments of five current and developing issues in NCAA athletics. In today’s edition, Vince notes the selection of a Director of Athletics for the University of Michigan, reflects on college football playoff games, comments on renovation to the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball residence hall, relates statements from Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh on issues in college football, and briefly considers National Signing Day.

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Women’s Soccer Gets A Red Card: Discussing The Recent Lawsuit Filed by U.S. Soccer

By Ashley Albano, February 23, 2016

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/suzieblue/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/suzieblue/

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team is on the road to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next few weeks, the team will compete in a tournament with hopes of reaching the CONCACAF Woman’s Olympic Qualifying Championship – the gateway to Brazil and another step toward achieving an Olympic gold medal.  However, while individual team members focus on strategies on the field, the Women’s National Soccer Team and the union that represents it is unfortunately entangled in far less sunny off-field issues. U.S. Soccer, the national governing body for soccer, is suing the world champion team.

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Sports Betting in the Wild, Wild East: Setting the Line on New Jersey’s Final Challenge to PASPA

Patrick Doughty and Joshua Calo, Contributors, February 20, 2016

 

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hinnosaar/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hinnosaar/

In a first for the Moorad Sports Law Journal Blog, the Journal’s Editor-n-Chief and Executive Editor jointly discuss and share their takeaways from the en banc hearing on sports betting in New Jersey. In Christie I, the Third Circuit rejected New Jersey’s constitutional challenge to PASPA, but held that PASPA did not bar New Jersey from repealing its existing prohibitions on sports betting.  However, in Christie II, the Third Circuit held that this partial repeal had the same effect: authorizing sports gambling in violation of PASPA by “selectively grant[ing] permission to certain entities to engage in sports gambling. The two editors analyze what this latest legal step could mean for the future of sports gambling in New Jersey.

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Let The Rainbows Fly: The Need For Legislation To Prevent Homophobic Exclusion In Sports

By Janet Akinola, February 16, 2016

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajguel/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajguel/

On February 9, 2014, Michael Sam created a turning point in sports history when he announced his homosexuality to the world. Michael Sam was ultimately cut from the Dallas Cowboys despite the team’s need for a high caliber defensive end. According to NFL policy, Sam’s sexual orientation should not be a factor in his consideration for being drafted. Still, Sam’s story could very easily serve as a warning to future athletes to keep their sexual orientation under wraps, if they want to make it to the major leagues. With the difficulty of evaluating the draft potential or position of athletes, however,  it hard to figure out whether a player has been discriminated against or simply because they were not a good fit for the team.

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Update on the University of Louisville Basketball Case

By Vince Nicastro, February 9, 2016

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kcjc/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kcjc/

In a surprise announcement last week, the University of Louisville announced they are self-imposing a postseason ban on their basketball program for 2016, as a result of preliminary findings in the on-going investigation of the allegations levied against them last fall. In this post, former Villanova University Athletic Director Vince Nicastro analyzes Louisville’s decision-making and potential future with this issue.

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The Starting 5: Random Thoughts About College Athletics

By Vince Nicastro, February 2, 2016

In his new column, former Villanova University Athletic Director Vince Nicastro provides brief assessments of five current and developing issues in NCAA athletics. Vince tackles the divide between the student-athlete experience and its popular narrative, considers the separation of the Power 5, briefly muses on the introductory press conferences of new football coaches, cautions against schools hiring alumni as head coaches, and notes the classification of coaches’ vocal cord problems as an occupational hazard.

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Non-Traditional Athletic Director Hires

By Vince Nicastro, January 8, 2016

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jrandallc/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jrandallc/

Mike Perrin is only the latest in a series of nontraditional athletic directors – all very accomplished leaders in their own right who have nevertheless sometimes struggled to navigate the unique world of Division I athletics. With the business model of college sports changing, the new environment requires a different set of skills and experiences, more focused on the bottom line, brand development, and fan engagement. However, a deep understanding of the culture of higher education, an ability to develop positive working relationships with various constituents, and the ability to navigate the sometimes labyrinthine NCAA regulatory environment is still part of the “art” of being a successful leader in college athletics. These non-traditional ADs will have to learn to balance both aspects in order to succeed.

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Proposed FLSA Overtime Regulations To Impact College Athletics

By Vince Nicastro, December 14, 2015

Last summer, the US Department of Labor announced proposed revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.  The revisions include a dramatic increase to the minimum salary provision required to qualify as an overtime exempt employee. One consequence of the proposal will be the impact it may have on many athletics departments around the country – at all levels.  So, athletic directors need to be prepared for this change, which is likely to become effective in the second half of 2016, and which could impact department operations and budgets in a significant way.

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Bring it to Light, We Might Make it Right: The NFL’s Tepid Response to Domestic Violence Continues

By Jordan McGee, November 30, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/astros/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/astros/

The NFL’s domestic violence program has returned to the spotlight again, thanks to Cowboys player Greg Hardy.  Hardy made headlines after Deadspin obtained photographs taken the night he and his former girlfriend, Nicole Holder, were involved in a domestic abuse incident at Hardy’s apartment in North Carolina. The NFL held a reinstatement hearing for Hardy in April 2015, at which time the league reinstated Hardy and gave him a ten-game suspension; Hardy appealed, and the arbitrator in his appeal reduced the sentence to a mere four games. The response to Hardy’s case calls into question the league’s promise to do better following the Ray Rice scandal.

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Olympic Sport Crisis Looming?

By Vince Nicastro, November 23, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leeadlaf/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leeadlaf/

The college athletics landscape continues to be tumultuous.  As intense pressure from various legal challenges mounts, the Division I membership has attempted to fire some preemptive strikes toward making changes that might otherwise be forced upon them through the litigation.  Ultimately, there could be a fundamental change in structure coming, with the bedrock principle of amateurism being redefined or entirely removed from the equation. The possibility of moving toward a free market system where college athletes are compensated at their market value is more tangible than ever before.  Couple that with related consequences of an employer/employee relationship and a possible unionized environment, and the potential for fundamental structural changes to the intercollegiate financial model is a real possibility.

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Professional Cheerleaders Root for Increased Wages

By Macy Manolis, November 20, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/twosheffs/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/twosheffs/

Professional sports are a multibillion-dollar industry and growing annually. In light of this, it may come as a surprise that many professional cheerleaders in both the National Football League (N.F.L.) and the National Basketball Association (N.B.A.) are unhappy with their compensation, to say the least.  Most recently, former Milwaukee Bucks cheerleader Lauren Herington sued the team, alleging failure to meet minimum federal and state wage requirements. Herington is not the first to take this type of action; rather, her suit follows a handful of others filed by women performing for a variety of NFL teams.

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NFL Throws Challenge Flag and Files Appeal on Deflategate Ruling

By Joseph Brooks, November 17, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/

On October 26, 2015, the NFL filed its appellate brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in which the league argues that Judge Berman incorrectly ruled in favor of Brady on September 3, 2015. However, Brady’s guilt is not actually the subject of this appeal.  The NFL’s main goal in its appeal is to establish the NFL commissioner’s power under the collective bargaining agreement.  If the NFL decided to accept the decision, the league would essentially open the door for future players to challenge punishments in court rather than through an appeal hearing. Whatever the result,  the decision on this appeal will establish strong future precedent in arbitration decisions.

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Proposed NCAA Legislation/Autonomy Round 2

By Vince Nicastro, November 9, 2015

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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/toshm/

In July 2014, the NCAA DI Board approved a new Division I governance structure, which allows for “autonomous rules” – legislation in specific categories that can essentially be unilaterally adopted by the Power 5 conferences (with no input from the rest of Division I). The new structure, and accelerating shift in influence toward the higher resourced conferences, is the result of years of discussion and debate pertaining to their desire to have greater control of policy issues in college athletics.

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Why Major League Baseball Is Dropping the Ball When It Comes to Treating Its Alcohol Problem

By Kaitlin Shire, October 27, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apardavila/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apardavila/

Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia’s recent announcement about his seeking alcohol treatment has raised renewed concerns over the relationship between baseball and alcohol, Although Major League Baseball appears to be supportive of Sabathia’s decision, could the sport itself have affected Sabathia’s illness?  While many teams have banned alcohol from clubhouses to prevent tragedy or minimize liability, the postseason alcohol-filled victory celebrations still occur in clubhouses across the nation. The MLB  and its teams have taken some steps to address the potential issues facing players, but more needs to be done if the toxic relationship can ever be solved.

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Has the Luck Run Out for DraftKings and FanDuel?

By Patrick Doughty, October 23, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/

After a tumultuous week filled with calls for investigations into allegations of insider trading, the other shoe finally dropped for the Daily Fantasy Sports industry (DFS). On October 15, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) concluded that DFS is gambling, and thus subject to the laws and regulations of the State of Nevada and the Gaming Commission.  The decision effectively shuts down industry giants DraftKings and FanDuel’s operations inside Nevada until the two companies obtain a state gaming license – a decision that  threatens the legal existence of the daily fantasy sports industry altogether.

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From a Liability Standpoint, It’s Time to Get Rid of Mascots

By  Joshua D. Winneker, J.D. & David Gargone, Ed.D., October 21, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/neontommy/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/neontommy/

It seems unbelievable, but another fan was seriously injured recently by a team mascot. The mascot experience for fans used to just be a harmless moment or two during the game to help enhance the entertainment atmosphere.  Now, the unpredictable nature of mascots’ actions has caused injury to spectators and potentially successful lawsuits against teams and schools. These in-the-name-of-fun actions should not be treated trivially, as the shenanigans of the characters – whether they represent an NCAA institution of higher education or a professional sports franchise – expose their employers to potentially expensive litigation.

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Head Coach Control, Presumption of Responsibility, and Impact on High Profile Coaches

By Vince Nicastro, October 16, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/

Many observers of college sports are starting to become more familiar with the principle of “Head Coach Control” – the NCAA bylaw that the head coach is presumed to be responsible for the actions of all staff members who report to the head coach, whether directly or indirectly. Indeed, in two recent cases -both involving Hall of Fame coaches – the application of the rule has resulted in well-publicized suspensions.  Yet is the presumption that a head can – or should – know all the activities of his staff and team at every moment simply too burdensome?  How far up the chain of command should this presumption spread?

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All Out Blitz: Daily Fantasy Websites’ Advertising Campaigns Face Scrutiny from All Sides

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yodelanecdotal/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yodelanecdotal/

By William Saldutti, October 9, 2015

If you have watched any sporting event, especially football, over the past few months, you will have seen them – an onslaught of advertisements from daily fantasy websites DraftKings and FanDuel. Many of the ads promise huge payouts with seemingly no money paid upfront, but appearances can be deceiving. Both sites are now facing a blitz of lawsuits, alleging state-level violations of truth in advertising laws, and may court federal action in the future. With at least one conference already banning the ads of these sites, DraftKings and FanDuel may find annoyed viewers the least of their concerns.

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Reaction to Latest O’Bannon Ruling: Some Practical Considerations….With an Eye on the Big Picture

By Vince Nicastro, October 6, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcygallery/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcygallery/

On September 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in the ongoing O’Bannon v. NCAA case.  The outcome has both sides claiming at least a modicum of victory.  O’Bannon’s camp is trumpeting the fact that the court reinforced the basic premise of their case – that the NCAA is clearly subject to federal antitrust laws and the association’s amateurism rules are in violation.  The NCAA is also claiming a win, in that the court essentially struck down the $5,000 annual deferred payment for the use of student-athletes’ “name, image, and likeness” that was granted by Judge Claudia Wilken in the lower court in the summer of 2014.  On balance, I would characterize the ruling as a mixed bag.

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Is the NHL Sending the Wrong Message? A Suspension for Patrick Kane Seems Unlikely

By Ashley Albano, October 7, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagozen/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagozen/

Most Chicago Blackhawks players were celebrating their 2015 Stanley Cup win this summer, but not Patrick Kane. Patrick Kane has instead been facing an off-ice investigation for alleged rape and assault. Both the NHL and the Chicago Blackhawks have the authority to suspend Kane, but both have neglected to do either. For Patrick Kane, the only ramification he may face is a tainted reputation.

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UFC Gearing up for a Fight in Antitrust Lawsuit

By Michael Romeo, October 5, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kalooz/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kalooz/

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”) may be the largest and fastest growing Mixed Martial Arts (“MMA”) promoter in the world, but it is certainly not without its fair share of in-house problems.  In December of 2014, several current and former UFC fighters filed an antitrust lawsuit against the UFC’s parent company, Zuffa LLC.  The complaint alleges that the UFC holds a monopoly on professional MMA, and subjects its fighters to unscrupulous working conditions and long term, oppressive contracts. The outcome of this legal battle will, one way or another, have a huge impact on MMA – and might deliver a K.O. punch to the UFC too.

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The NFL’s Worst Nightmare: Bringing the Concussion Controversy to the Big Screen

By Janet Akinola, September 30, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajguel/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajguel/

Sony Pictures Entertainment’s recently released trailer for the movie Concussion, due in theaters in December, has sparked some controversy. Concussion is based on the true story of forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu’s discovery of a link between football and head trauma in players, as well as the NFL’s reaction to this discovery. The movie focuses primarily on the NFL’s seeming willful blindness to the issues that Dr. Omalu presented to them, painting the NFL in a negative light. Although Dr. Omalu’s story was not unknown before the production of this film, there is no doubt that Concussion will highlight the continuing concussion controversy – to the NFL’s sorrow.

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NCAA to Man Up in Yet Another Academic Fraud Case

By Sarah Ebersole, September 28, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/diligent/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/diligent/

On September 16, 2015, Rutgers University suspended its football coach, Kyle Flood, for three games after he was caught violating a university policy regarding academic fraud. The coach violated the policy by contacting a faculty member on behalf of a student athlete on his teamIf the coach’s behavior turns out to be an NCAA violation, the case will fall into the category of the many academic fraud scandals that have been reported and gone half-heartedly addressed by the Association, which have led to skepticism about the NCAA’s motivation and consistency in disciplining such cases If the NCAA does not engage in more effective sanctions or policy reform, the future threatens a vicious system where athletes are used for their performance and left to graduate with hardly an education at all.

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$46 Million Fee Award Sparks Secondary Dispute in O’Bannon v. NCAA

By Joshua Calo, September 22, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vsellis/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vsellis/

On July 13, 2015, Federal Magistrate Judge Nathanael M. Cousins ordered the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to pay attorneys’ fees and costs totaling $45,968,726.62.  Most notably, Judge Cousins ruled that the NCAA is responsible for paying costs incurred by a class of student-athletes in litigating claims that were ultimately unsuccessful on the merits. This decision from the Northern District of California comes as the NCAA’s appeal of the District Court’s decision on the merits – holding that NCAA rules restricting student athletes from receiving compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses violate federal antitrust law – is pending appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Whether the NCAA will ultimately be responsible for paying $46 million is far from certain.

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Third Circuit Strikes Down NJ Sports Wagering Again, Appeal Likely

By Jordan Hollander, Esq., September 4, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/design-dog/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/design-dog/

As summer winds down, Americans look forward to one of their favorite seasons: football season.  A new round of football means cookouts, fantasy draft parties, and the inevitable rise of sports betting. Yet while nearly $400 billion is wagered on sports in the United States each year, only about 1% of that is wagered legally.  Now, because of a recent decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, sports wagering has once again been declare illegal in the State of New Jersey, making the future of this huge shadow industry very unclear.

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Antitrust Playoff Contenders: StubHub Takes on Ticketmaster

By Andres Gonzalez, August 28, 2015 golden state warriors

The Golden State Warriors might have won the championship on the court, but the team must now defend itself from a corporate rivalry. On March 29, 2015, StubHub, Inc. sued Ticketmaster L.L.C. and the Golden State Warriors for California and federal antitrust violations. The lawsuit is part of an ongoing feud to control professional sport leagues ticket sales. Whatever its outcome,  this lawsuit has the potential to redefine ticket sales – the lifeblood of professional sports – for years to come.

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Possible Workplace Retaliation Will Keep Geno Smith from Filing Lawsuit for Broken Jaw

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rocketboom/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rocketboom/

By Joshua D. Winneker, August 26, 2015

By now, virtually every football fan knows about the New York Jets’ quarterback Geno Smith’s suffering a fractured jaw after being punched in the face by one of his own teammates, IK Enemkpali. Whether you think that Smith deserved it, or that the Jets are better off without him, Enemkpali clearly committed a crime by punching Smith in the face. But Smith probably won’t sue him – not because Enemkpali doesn’t deserve it, but because Smith doesn’t want to suffer the consequences that come with being a NFL player that sues another player

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Exercising Our Rights Through Yoga: Don’t Say “Namaste” to Me

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/footfun/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/footfun/

By Jillian Barton, August 17, 2015

Is the practice of yoga a form of exercise or the exercise of religion? The answer seems to depend on whom you ask. This question has raised constitutional concerns for public schools and resulted in an uproar from taxpayers in Washington, D.C. Spiritual in its roots but secular in general practice, yoga has become a focus of debate as its practitioners attempt to find the right balance.

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NFL Abandons Tax-Exempt Status for Some Good Press and a Little Privacy

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vtravelled/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vtravelled/

By Kasia Kordas, June 24, 2015

On April 28, 2015, the National Football League announced that it would voluntarily give up its not-for-profit tax-exempt status, a status the league has held since 1942. Come next April, the league will be filing a different tax return. The move means more to pay (though not as much as you might think), but also a healthy dose of good press and some much-needed privacy.

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Update on New Jersey’s Efforts to Implement Sports Gambling

By Jordan Hollander, Esq., June 22, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/design-dog/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/design-dog/

It is estimated that 99 percent of sports betting in the United States is placed illegally. Despite the federal prohibition on sports betting from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), New Jersey has been trying to implement sports gambling in the state since 2011.  This article will provide an update on the status of this effort.

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For the Love of the Game? FIFA Indictments Signal New Era in Soccer Accountability

By Azadeh Erfani, June 14, 2015

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/isakaronsson/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/isakaronsson/

Shortly after sunrise on May 27, 2015, the Swiss police paid a surprise visit to six high-ranking soccer officials, among them top officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), soccer’s global governing body.  Their arrests marked the first peak into the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) groundbreaking investigation into the rampant corruption within FIFA.

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Orioles and Nationals’ T.V. Court Battle

By Joshua Calo, Novevmber 26, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wfyurasko/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wfyurasko/

In early October 2014, fans, analysts, and players excitedly discussed the possibility of a “Beltway World Series” between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles. While neither team ultimately advanced to baseball’s fall classic, baseball fans still have the opportunity to observe the local rivals in a different type of matchup: cross-petitions with a New York trial court in a legal battle over licensing fees for the Nationals’ television broadcasting rights.

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What the Sayreville Hazing Scandal Says About Locker Room Culture

By Ian Forster, October 19, 2014

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dsyzdek/

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dsyzdek/

The Sayreville Bombers’ football season has been cancelled in the wake of team hazing allegations.  The accusations rocked the New Jersey high school and the Middlesex County community, a community passionate about its historically strong football team.  There will be no Homecoming game, no Senior Night, and no celebratory lap around the field for players this season.

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Hope Solo: The Conversation We Need to Have

By Jacquelyn Herder, October 9, 2014

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/n_miller/

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/n_miller/

During the past few weeks, headlines have been filled with declarations, accusations, mea culpas, and the opinions of sports commentators, figures, and fans speaking out about the recent accusations of domestic violence against NFL players. At the forefront of most headlines is the National Football League (NFL) with Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and a slew of football players who have been “exposed” as domestic abusers. The NFL has imposed sanctions on the players as some of them await legal ramifications, and the public outcry has been substantial and profound.

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: How the NFL Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act

By Azadeh Erfani, October 6, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncai/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncai/

It is an understatement to say that the National Football League (NFL) has had a shaky response to domestic violence allegations. Since Commissioner Roger Goodell began his tenure in 2006, fifty-six players have faced domestic violence related charges. Goodell’s overall response was mild to say the least—with a total of thirteen game suspensions.   Continue Reading –>


Dribbling Circles Around FIFA: How F.C. Barcelona and Luis Suarez Got Around FIFA Sanctions

By Patrick Doughty, October 1, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/montannito/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/montannito/

This summer, a soccer club prohibited from signing players signed a player who was prohibited from playing soccer. Perennial Spanish soccer power, F.C. Barcelona (Barça) of Spain’s La Liga, purchased the rights to the sensational striker Luis Suarez from Liverpool F.C. of the English Premier League for £75 million.

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Roger Goodell on the Chopping Block? Don’t Count On It

By Nicholas Gregory, October 9, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zennie62/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zennie62/

In the wake of the recent Ray Rice video firestorm, some have called for the thirty-two National Football League (NFL) owners to sack their most powerful employee, Commissioner Roger Goodell, for mishandling the Rice incident.[i]  Goodell may have fumbled the NFL’s reputation by initially giving Rice a lenient two game suspension, but do not expect the owners to come calling for his playbook. While commissioners play a powerful role in the management of their respective leagues, they are ultimately employees of the team owners, who have the authority to fire the commissioner if the commissioner takes actions contrary to the leagues’ best interests.[ii] Like most employees, commissioners enjoy a heightened sense of job security when they are helping their employers enjoy financial success.

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FIFA Must Stop Playing Head Games

By Heather MacGillivray, August 4, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60278244@N00/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60278244@N00/

Sport concussions have been a major issue in recent years. On July 7, 2014, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody preliminarily approved the settlement between the National Football League (NFL) and the class of former players who suffered the effects of concussions. The revised settlement has no cap on overall compensation for former players and pays former players depending on their age and condition. Despite the settlement’s approval, concussions remain a serious issue. In professional soccer, a number of injuries in the recent Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup moved the issue further into the spotlight.

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The Almighty FIFA and Brazil’s Great Concessions

By Anna Haslinsky,  July 28, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/felipequintanilha/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/felipequintanilha/

Every four years, people across the globe are glued to the television over the world’s single largest sporting event, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) World Cup.  This summer, excitement reached new heights when an unprecedented 24.7 million Americans tuned in to watch the United States and Portugal match.

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Dodgers’ Security Fails, Liability Ensues

By Meghan Price, July 27, 2014

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brendan-c/

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brendan-c/

Three years ago, two Los Angeles Dodgers fans brutally beat a San Francisco Giants fan outside of Dodger Stadium. The attack led to a civil suit in which the jury recently awarded the victim, Bryan Stow, an $18 million verdict in damages.  However, the Dodgers may rely on an earlier – and similar – tort case in which the verdict against the Dodgers was overturned on appeal to win the day here.

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The Buffalo Jill’s Employment Claims: the Future of NFL Cheerleaders

By Mary Meghan Balkin, July 15, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/domit/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/domit/

National Football League (“NFL”) cheerleaders have been part of the professional football experience for years. The Buffalo Jills, the affectionately named cheerleading squad for the Buffalo Bills, joined the Bills “team” in 1967. Two decades later, in 1986, the Jills became its own separate entity.

On April 22, 2014, the relationship went sour when five former Buffalo Jills filed suit against the Buffalo Bills, Inc. and the Jills’ owners, Citadel Communications (“Citadel”) and Stejon Productions Corporation (“Stejon”). The women claim that the companies violated New York State employment laws and maintained a harassing work environment.

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The Name of the Game: Washington Redskins Keep Moniker, Lose Trademark

By  Katherine Oaks, July 3, 2014

Photo credit: Chris Staley https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmstaley/

Photo credit: Chris Staley https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmstaley/

On June 17, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled the trademark registration belonging to the Washington Redskins for the team’s name. While this decision appears to manifest decades’ worth of efforts to derail socially accepted racial slurs and derogatory labels, the true impact falls pitifully short of the name change petitioners and advocates are fighting for.

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Settling a Storm: How Schools Should Address Fans Storming the Court

By Katherine Tohanczyn, March 19, 2014

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32862893@N04/

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32862893@N04/

In light of the recent slew of upsets in this year’s NCAA tournament, Katherine Tohanczyn examines the attitudes of coaches, fans, players, and school officials regarding the practice of storming the court.  The NCAA has recently increased penalties for schools whose fans violate the ban of fans rushing onto the court after a home team upset.  Will these penalties be sufficient to thwart this practice, thereby better securing player and fan safety?

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Cursing, Concussions, and Children: The Real Problem with “Friday Night Tykes”

By Meghan Price, February 24, 2014

Pop Warner football players The Texas Youth Football Association recently suspended two coaches for encouraging their eight and nine-year-old football players to engage in bad behavior and dangerous play.  The shocking reality about this suspension is that the behavior likely would have gone unpunished if the coaches’ inappropriate aggression – aggression that could lead to serious injuries – had not been showcased on national television.


NFL, Are You Ready For Some… Medical Marijuana?

By  John Becker, February 4, 2014

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/janellie23/

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/janellie23/

The most recent Superbowl featured a matchup between the two NFL teams from the states that most recently legalized recreational marijuana.  The NFL purports to have both the goal of remaining apolitical and enhancing player safety.  How will the NFL handle medical marijuana used by players as an alternative to more addictive and dangerous painkillers?


MLB Drops an A-Bomb on A-Rod

By Matthew Cali, January 18, 2014

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/keithallison

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/keithallison

New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez recently received a 211 game suspension for his involvement in the most recent performance-enhancing drug scandal.  After an appeal of this suspension and arbitration, the veteran slugger received a reduced suspension for the 2014-2015 season.  Considering his age, this may be one of Rodriguez’s seasons. Continue reading —>


Texas Coach Celebrates Dropped Bullying Charges Instead Of 91-0 Win

By Mia Rosati, October 27, 2013

Texas HS football game

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianspenceranderson/

Can the parent of a high school football player really sue the coach of an opposing team for bullying after a devastating win? Is the courtroom really the place to settle this kind of matter? A Texas coach was able to breath a sigh of relief this week after bullying charges based on his team’s performance were dropped.

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NFL Sues Musician M.I.A, for “Obscene Gesture” During Super Bowl Halftime Performance

By Matthew Boyd, October 12, 2013

M.I.A. performing

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whittlz/

The NFL Super Bowl halftime show has seen its fair share of scandal and controversy over the years, but recently, an all but unnoticed  profane gesture by singer-songwriter M.I.A has precipitated a lawsuit from the NFL claiming $1.5M in damages for breach of contract.  The NFL alleges that the performer breached provisions that stipulated she comport herself in a manner consistent with the league’s reputation.  The evidence of actual damages from M.I.A.’s gesture, however, are missing in action.

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Whose Tattoo?  Tattoo Copyright labeled “Pressing Issue” by NFL Player’s Association

By Angela Brosnan, September 17, 2013

Aaron Hernandez's Tattoos

Photo Credit: Aaron Frutman http://www.flickr.com/photos/34495711@N06/

NFL players are quickly becoming larger than life, with cameos in hit television series and movies and models in popular video games.  However, as player likeness proliferates, an important and interesting intellectual property question is raised:  Who owns the rights to the designs that so many of the players ink onto their bodies?

That’s Not Foul – MLB Agrees to Expand Instant Replay in 2014

By Matthew Cali, September 12, 2013

MLB instant replay screen capture

Photo Credit: Keith Allison
http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/

 The MLB, due to popular demand, has proposed a new instant replay system for the 2014 season that more closely mirrors the system used by the NFL.  Unfortunately the proposed system seems to be more of a half-step to a full instant replay system that will slow the game and change the challenges faced by the baseball team manager.  Our Editor-in-Chief, Matthew Cali, argues that the MLB should abandon this proposal and implement a full “booth review” system.

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EA Sports: If It’s In the Game, It’s In the Courtroom

By Benjamin Bolas, August 26, 2013

EA sports NCAA game kit

Photo Credit: Esperino.com

 Game development company Electronic Arts’ subdivision EA Sports is known for its wide range of genre-leading sports video games with giant titles like Madden, EA Sports FIFA, EA Sports NHL, and EA Sports NCAA.  Recently, however, EA has hit a rough patch, being party to several major lawsuits and losing a major contract with the NCAA to use the likeness of college football players.

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Double or Nothing:  How New Jersey Can Beat the Spread in National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Christie

By Joseph Catuzzi, with an introduction by Matthew Cali, August 7, 2013

Las Vegas Sportsbook

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roundnoon/

 The state of New Jersey is in a legal battle with multiple sports leagues regarding a long standing federal law that prohibits sports betting in 46 of the 50 united states.  Guest writer Joseph Catuzzi, currently interning for the U.S. Attorney General’s office in New Jersey gives his opinion on the developing high-profile litigation.

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NFL Sidelines Obamacare Invitation

By Francis Baker, July 24, 2013

Houston Texans Sideline

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dskillzhtown/

In an attempt to promote the upcoming opening of health insurance exchanges on October 1, 2013 pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration approached the National Football League to solicit a promotional partnership.  After political influence and contemplation, the NFL declined to promote the sweeping new health law.  Other leagues, such as the NBA, have been approached to promote the reform as well.  The NFL’s disinclination to promote the politically volatile law may dictate future decisions by professional sports leagues and may complicate how the administration raises awareness for the change.

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By Brittany Waters, June 28, 2013

Madrid 2020 Olympic meeting photo

IOC meeting for Madrid’s 2020 Olympic Bid.
Photo Credit: Portaldelsur.es http://www.flickr.com/photos/portaldelsur/

The city of Madrid, in competition with Istanbul and Tokyo, instituted new anti-doping and PED laws to help buck its reputation of being too lax with enforcing regulations.  The new laws comply with all IOC requirements and improve Spain’s chances of hosting the summer games in 2020.

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By Scott Edelstein, Esq. and Karl Nobert, Esq. of Squire Sanders on April 28, 2013

Recently, the New York Times reported upon a decision by the National Football League to expand league-wide a 2012 pilot program involving the use of a post-injury sideline assessment tool.  The expanded program will permit all team physicians and trainers to use the assessment tool, which is composed of an iPad and a downloadable app to compare a player’s personal pre-season baseline and post-injury test results on a side-by-side basis in real time.

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 Established in 1910, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) purports to protect today’s student-athletes from exploitation.  The NCAA has little control over how member institutions run their athletic departments, but maintains almost exclusive control over eligibility guidelines for student-athletes.  These eligibility standards control not only potential student-athletes deciding which school to attend, but also controls enrolled student-athletes competing interscholastically.

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Will Golf Survive Another Drought?

By Seth W. Hiller, April 2, 2013

 Since the economic downturn in 2008, the formerly booming golf industry saw large declines in the number of people playing golf and the number of new courses being developed.  Despite the downturn, there are still over 15,000 golf courses in the United States, covering an area the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.  Golf courses are notoriously thirsty consumers of water, and recent droughts have put an additional strain on the already struggling golf industry.

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Subsidizing Billionaires: How Your Money is Being Used to Construct Professional Sports Stadiums

By Tim Kianka, March 6, 2013

Professional sports franchises receive public funding and tax subsidies from all levels of government, including the federal government, state governments, county governments, and local governments. The use of taxpayer money to fund the construction of professional sports stadiums has a long and controversial history, with the Internal Revenue Code allowing taxpayer funds to effectively subsidize billionaires who own sports franchises.

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With the “One and Done” Rule, the NBA and NCAA Benefit While Players Lose

By Andrew Knox, February 26, 2013 On February 12, Kentucky basketball player Nerlens Noel collided with the base of a basketball hoop in a game against Florida, tearing his ACL and ending his season.  While the timetable for recovery can be anywhere from six months to a year, Noel’s draft stock could suffer an unrecoverable injury.

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New Study Likely to Prove Key Development in Concussion Lawsuits

By Sara Lewis, February 17, 2013

On January 22, 2013, the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry published the harrowing findings of a UCLA study on brain damage in living NFL football players, specifically chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”). Funded by groups researching the impact of concussions including the Brain Injury Research Institute, the study marks a significant breakthrough in brain injury research of athletes in high-contract sports.  Living players now have the opportunity to see and understand the actual damage to their brains, whereas in the past such effects could only be seen after death.


Keeping Up the Lies: How Lance Armstrong’s Past Will Come Back to Haunt Him After His Appearance on Oprah

By Robert B. Gardner, February 10, 2013 While largely overshadowed by Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend, Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey airing on January 17, 2013 marked the end of an era for an American hero.  By the time Armstrong interviewed with Oprah, the public was already accepting his guilt.  The journey began in 1997, when Armstrong set up his Livestrong foundation after recovering from testicular cancer.  Despite testing positive for a banned substance, Armstrong won his first Tour de France in 1999.


No Pumping Iron for Prosecutors: Arkansas Attorney General Recommends Against Use of Public Funds for Attorneys’ Gym Memberships

By Heather Mandelkehr, February 3, 2013

  In November 2012, the Arkansas Attorney General put a stop to a practice uncovered by a state legislative audit – the use of public forfeiture funds to pay athletic facility membership fees for prosecutors and other law enforcement personnel.  The Attorney General’s opinion came in response to an inquiry from state Sen. Bill Pritchard and state Rep. Tim Summers, who serve as chairmen of the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee for the Arkansas legislature.


Take a Hike! Why the NFL Shouldn’t Enjoy Tax-Exempt Status

By Aarthi Manohar, January 12, 2013

When most people think of non-profits, names like The Salvation Army and The American Red Cross are likely come to mind.  Therefore, it might come as a surprise to hear that major league sports associations like the NFL, the NHL, and the PGA are also non-profit organizations.  The NFL, for example, is classified as a 501(c)(6) organization with the IRS, which means that it is a federal, non-profit, tax-exempt entity.  In other words, the NFL is not required to pay taxes on any revenue it takes in, putting it on a similar plane as organizations like the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.


Brooklyn Keeps on Takin’ It and Seattle Keeps on Payin’ For It: Nets, Sonics and the “Public Purpose” Doctrine

By Sekou Campbell, January 5, 2013

Seattle hedge fund magnate, Chris Hansen, demonstrates that condemnation is not as necessary an evil for urban development as described here.  Chris Hansen has committed to develop a new sports arena for an NBA franchise in Seattle, filling the void left by the now Oklahoma City Thunder.  Hansen purchased rather than “took” all necessary land for his development project.  His project serves as an interesting counterpoint to the Atlantic Yards development project, home of the Brooklyn Nets, because Washington and New York are two states that maintain the broad power to transfer private property to a private developer for a “public purpose” permitted after Kelo.

 

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