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

By: Katherine Tohanczyn on 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 on February 24, 2014

Pop Warner football players

  The newly-launched Esquire Network’s primetime reality show, Friday Night Tykes,  shows hard-headed coaches in the football haven of Texas pushing their preteen players in practice and games as if they are legitimate NFL prospects.  Recently, two coaches were suspended from their positions for behavior caught on camera.  This raises the qu

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NFL, Are You Ready For Some… Medical Marijuana?

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

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

 

By:  John Becker on February 4, 2014

 

 

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?

 

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MLB Drops an A-Bomb on A-Rod

 

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.

 

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

By:  Mia Rosati on October 27, 2013

 

Texas HS football game

Image Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianspenceranderson/

Can a 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 breathe 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: NFL’s Claimed Damages Appear to be M.I.A.

By:  Matthew Boyd on 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 on 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.  They have cameos in hit television series and movies and are perfectly modeled in popular video games such as EA Sports’ Madden series.  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?

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

By:  Matthew Cali on 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 on 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

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 Advertising Invitation

By Francis Baker on 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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With 2020 Olympics on Horizon, Spain Strengthens Anti-Doping Laws

By Brittany Waters on 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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Could the FDA Be the Next NFL Commissioner?: What Happens When a Medical Device Becomes Part of the Required Uniform

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 (“NFL Concussion 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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Lack of Institutional Control: Will the NCAA Be Its Own Executioner?

By Thomas Elliot on April 11, 2013

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, on 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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Pink Concussions

The mission of Pink Concussions.com PinkConcussions.com is to highlight what is known about female concussions, list resources, and share women’s personal experiences with head injury.  The goal is to encourage more research on the vulnerability, the causes of injury and the delay in recovery time for females of all ages. . . .

 

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The 2013 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal Symposium—Concussion Conundrum—explores, debates, and informs on the key issues facing players, teams, leagues, doctors, and lawyers regarding head injuries and brain trauma in sports. . . .

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

By Tim Kianka on 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. . . .

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

By Andrew Knox on 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 on 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 on 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 on 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 on 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, Associate at Fox Rothschild on 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.


The Public Purpose of Stadiums Under Kelo

By John Polonis on November 30, 2012 at Sports Law Scoreboard by Fox Rothschild LLP

Stadiums are common carriers for the public, and therefore, states’ use of eminent domain for their construction should be justified. While the use of eminent domain may not be ideal, the long term community and economic benefits of stadiums will likely outweigh any costs of condemnation. . . .


Football Broadcaster Racism

By Allison McDonald on December 1, 2012 
It was a Sunday like any other . . . football games were being played across the country. . . rivalries were thriving . . . flags were flying . . . broadcasters were providing play-by-play commentary.  And, then it happened, the comment: “like he was chasing a bucket of chicken.”  These words came out of the mouth of long-time, stick-his-foot-in-his-mouth, announcer Terry Bradshaw.  Bradshaw was attempting to describe Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush’s touchdown run.  Many viewers were angered believing Bradshaw had deliberately made a racist comment.  However, according to Bradshaw, his comment was more directed at NFL Fox Studio Analyst Jimmy Johnson and a reference to their running joke about Johnson’s love for Kentucky Fried Chicken. . . .


Game of Hard Flops

By Matthew Cali on November 23, 2012

The NBA has instituted a new “anti-flopping” rule that hopes to prevent players from deceiving the referees into making foul calls. The impetus for this rule is the long history of infamous “floppers,” such as Reggie Miller with his leg kick and Vlade Divac falling when Shaq would sneeze. These acts led to fouls that did not deserve to be called.  The new rule was not contained in the new CBA and has led to the National Basketball Player’s Association (“NBPA”) threatening to file labor grievances for unfair labor practices.  The question now is whether the NBA will flip-flop on the anti-flopping rule. . . .


What If Jumping Overseas Results in a Broken Leg?: The Effects Playing Abroad During the NHL Lockout Have on NHL Contracts

By Jaimie Collins on November 9, 2012
Maxime Talbot, Philadelphia Flyers Center/Wing, is packing his bags and heading to Finland, joining his teammate Scott Hartnell on the Finnish indoor ice, and several other Flyers players skating rinks throughout Europe.  Talbot is one of many players forced to seek opportunities to play outside of the United States in the wake of the labor dispute which, sadly, has frozen this year’s hockey season and chilled fans’ enthusiasm for the National Hockey League. . . .
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Namaste? Why Some Parents Want to Yank Yoga from the Classroom

By Heather M. Mandelkehr, October 31, 2012

The forms and variations of yoga in popular culture are almost innumerable: yoga flow, aerial yoga, yoga for athletes, hot yoga, partner yoga – to name a few found in ordinary gyms.  In recent years, however, yoga has not been free from legal controversy — disputes exist surrounding copyright of the well-known Bikram “hot yoga” poses, allegations of sexual assault by yoga instructors, and infringement disputes between yoga apparel manufacturers. . . .

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Drug Tests for Middle Schoolers: Ineffective, or Downright Harmful?

By Megan Shannon, October 16, 2012

The New York Times recently highlighted an increase in the number of middle schools requiring students to pass a drug test to participate in school sports and other extracurricular activities.  Pennsylvania schools are at the center of this issue. . . .

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Despite NCAA Protests, New Jersey Likely to Succeed in Legalizing Sports Gambling

By Francis Baker & Elisabeth Ulmer, October 6, 2012

New Jersey is endeavoring to become the fifth State to legalize sports gambling, and in the latest conflict between a State and the NCAA and other similar sports organizations, the State will likely prevail unless its opponents can offer evidence of why legalizing sports betting will specifically be harmful.

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The Return of the Dark Fall?

By Brittany Thompson on October 01, 2012
In the wake of this week’s NHL lockout, fans of the sport are quick to recall the so-called “dark fall” of 2004.   This epic lockout resulted in the cancellation of what was supposed to be the 88th season of play for the league, and marked the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded since 1919.

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The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Puts a Bulls-Eye on Lance Armstrong and Slays an Icon; and No One Knows Why

By Walter T. Champion Jr. on September 21, 2012
The debate surrounding whether NCAA student-athletes should receive compensation for their athletic performance continues to heat up just as temperatures cool down to usher in the beginning of college football season.  A potentially billion-dollar lawsuit against the NCAA threatens to change college sports, the video game industry, and the lives of thousands of past, present, and future college athletes.

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O’Bannon Tackles NCAA by Bringing Rookies Into the Class Action Lineup

By Amber J. Slattery on September 19, 2012
The debate surrounding whether NCAA student-athletes should receive compensation for their athletic performance continues to heat up just as temperatures cool down to usher in the beginning of college football season.  A potentially billion-dollar lawsuit against the NCAA threatens to change college sports, the video game industry, and the lives of thousands of past, present, and future college athletes.

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Dear Major League Baseball: It Is Time to Wage WAR On PEDs

By Joseph W. Wolfe on September 10, 2012
 On August 15, 2012, San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera was suspended fifty  games without pay for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs (“PED”).  Cabrera leads Major League Baseball (“MLB”) with a .346 batting average (two points ahead of Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen), is fourth in hits with 159, ninth in on-base percentage (“OBP”) with .390, and seventh in runs scored with eighty-four.  More importantly, these stats have helped propel the Giants to the top of the National League West. . .

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Boiling Bath Water: Examining IOC Rule 40 in Light of the Phelps Photo Leak

By John W. Polonis on September 5, 2012
Michael Phelps, the most highly decorated Olympian of all time, may be in hot water with the International Olympic Committee (“IOC”) after a Louis Vuitton advertisement of a scantily-clad Phelps appeared on several websites prior to August 15, the end date for the Olympics’ advertising ban. . .


 

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2013 Villanova Sports Law Symposium

In March of 2013, the Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal held its annual symposium titled "Concussion Conundrum", about the many aspects of concussion in sport. Speakers included Brian Westbrook, Taylor Twellman, and Peter Keating. View the videos of this event here.

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