Sports Law Matters

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Earlier this week, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in the case of Gold Medal LLC v. USA Track & Field.  The decision, on appeal from the District Court for the District of Oregon, rejected allegations that USA Track & Field (USATF) and the United States Olympics Committee (USOC) engaged in an anticompetitive conspiracy in violation of antitrust law by imposing certain advertising restrictions during Olympic Trials. …
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision authorizing the states to decide whether sports betting should be legal within their borders. In its decision, the Court struck down certain provisions of the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (“PASPA”) that previously provided a general ban on legalized sports betting outside of Nevada. Below are key things every league, team, conference, and school should know about the Court’s decision to…
You don’t think of sports website FanGraphs as a go-to source for legal analysis. But in a provocative April 30th post by Nathaniel Grow, https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-supreme-court-might-reconsider-mlbs-antitrust-exemption/, it was suggested that maybe—just maybe—the Supreme Court might be winding up to reexamine baseball’s anomalous antitrust exemption. Baseball’s judicially-created antitrust exemption is now nearly 100 years ago. Federal Baseball Club v. National League, 259 U.S. 200 (1922). Justice Holmes’ opinion has stood the test of time. The Court…
Tyrone Thomas was quoted in the Law360 article entitled, NCAA Transfer Rule Ripe For Reform Despite Court Success, in which he assessed the opportunity for college athletics to create a clearer standard for its transfer rules and avoid the possibility of court intervention. The article outlined the current status of antitrust class action litigation and concerns relating to the NCAA year-in-residence requirement.  …
In July 2016, four players on the Minnesota Lynx WNBA team wore black shirts in support of the Black Lives Matter social justice movement. The WNBA fined the players, but later rescinded the fines. In August 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem protesting social injustice and police brutality. The NFL responded that “players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”…
More than ever before, biometric data, a term often used broadly to refer to metrics related to human characteristics, is being collected at a faster pace. Devices of all kinds are now able to able to track and store data such as fingerprints, heartrate, and other potentially sensitive data. This tracking can be accomplished through a variety of mechanisms including smartphones, watches, and fitness tracking bands of all kinds. Because of the nature of information…
The vetting and hiring of a new coach is one of the most critical responsibilities athletic directors face. Athletic directors work to identify coaching candidates that will give the university’s teams an opportunity to win games. At the same time, they must also identify coaching candidates that will satisfy concerns of the various university stakeholders. The University of Tennessee’s recent coaching search demonstrates what happens when an athletic director fails to do the latter. The…
A celebrity should maximize the value of their brand by strategically monetizing every aspect of it.  For example, one who becomes famous through the recording industry would consider a career in front of and behind a television camera, through endorsement opportunities that are equity-based, along with employment and other business ventures. This is precisely the path taken by recording artists such as Will Smith and Queen Latifah.  Others, such as Michael Strahan, have taken a…
With the start of college football season around the corner, attention turns to off-season shake ups in coaching staffs.  One controversial change involved defensive coordinator Robert H. Shoop.  Shoop traded in his blue and white at Penn State for orange at the University of Tennessee in January 2016, although his employment contract with Penn State did not expire until February 15, 2018.  This led to a dispute over Coach Shoop’s post-employment contractual obligations. As a…
Notwithstanding the glitz and glamour of multi-millionaire race drivers and champagne, Formula One is all about data. Analytics are fundamental to understanding Formula One races. Teams are fueled by data, and around every corner you’ll find a car fitted with over 150 sensors monitoring car and driver behavior. These sensors track vital stats such as brake wear, tire life and driver biometrics. In one lap, they can transmit 2GB of data; over the course of…