Tarnished Twenty - FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Tarnished Twenty - The FindLaw Sports Law Blog - features sports law news and info about sports figures in trouble with the law


If you follow international soccer, the question wasn't whether FIFA was a corrupt sporting institution, but whether it was the most corrupt sporting institution. And while allegations of bribery were rampant, FIFA's executives remained largely untouchable.

That all changed overnight. Early this morning, Swiss Police arrested seven FIFA officials and corporate executives in Zurich as they gathered for the governing body's elections. Seven others have also been arrested, based on indictments from the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, and IRS, and all 14 are expected to be extradited to the United States to face a litany of charges including wire fraud, money laundering, and racketeering.

Let's take a look at the 3 biggest questions raised by the surprise arrests.

A New Jersey judge dismissed domestic violence charges against former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, following his completion of a pretrial intervention program.

The charges stemmed from a brutal attack on his wife Janay in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February 2014. Graphic video of the incident surfaced last September.

Fans have long-complained about sports leagues' TV blackout rules, which restrict certain games from certain broadcasters. But one group of fans who decided to sue Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League over their use of blackouts got a huge boost last week.

U.S. District Court judge Shira Scheindlin granted the plaintiffs' motion to certify class-action status, finding that all consumers in the market for MLB and NHL content have the same alleged injury and can therefore sue as a group.

Here's what that could mean for fans down the road.

Prosecutors officially dropped perjury charges against Shayanna Jenkins. Jenkins is engaged to former NFL tight-end and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez, and the two have a 2-year-old daughter together.

Prosecutors had alleged Jenkins lied during her grand jury testimony, but in light of her truthful testimony during Hernandez's murder trial, decided not to pursue the charges.

Jameis Winston's attorneys have filed a countersuit against the woman who accused him of rape in December 2012. Erica Kinsman filed a civil lawsuit against Winston in April, accusing him of sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Winston's lawsuit asserts that Kinsman's accusations amount to defamation and a tortious interference with a prospective business advantage. Winston is claiming that Kinsman's accusations are not only false, but have damaged his reputation and earning potential.

The Fight of the Century has turned into the Farce That Launched a Thousand Suits. Unhappy boxing fans have filed 13 lawsuits (and counting) against Manny Pacquiao and his promotional team for not disclosing the fighter's shoulder injury before last weekend's title bout.

The litigation, some of it aimed at his opponent Floyd Mayweather and fight broadcasters, claims that, had viewers known about Pacquiao's torn rotator cuff before the fight, they wouldn't have ponied up the $100 pay-per-view fee. Do disgruntled fans have a case?

Multiple female speedskaters have accused a member of the sport's Hall of Fame of sexual abuse during the 1990s. Bridie Farrell and Nikki Meyer allege Andy Gabel, who was in his 30s at the time, had inappropriate sexual relationships with them when both girls were just 15-years-old.

Gabel admitted to "inappropriate" conduct, but any criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit may be barred by statutes of limitation, which define the time limit to bring a legal claim. Here's how these statutes work, and how some lawmakers are trying to change them.

This week, the National Football League relinquished its tax exempt status. The NFL and had been exempt from taxes since the 1940s, although each franchise pays taxes on the money it makes.

The NFL made $10 billion last year, so how much will this change in tax status affect the bottom line? Let's take a look:

Like many criminal defendants before him, Barry Bonds gave a "rambling, non-responsive answer to a single question." That non-answer earned the ex-ballplayer an obstruction of justice conviction.

And, like many convicted criminals before him, Bonds appealed his conviction. That appeal was finally successful today, after the 9th Circuit United States Court of Appeals reversed his conviction.

Erica Kinsman, a former Florida State University student who accused former Seminole quarterback Jameis Winston of sexual assault in 2013, has filed a civil lawsuit over the matter. The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal battles over the alleged incident, after law enforcement and university investigations and failed to produce probable cause for criminal charges or proof that Winston violated school conduct rules.

So what does this lawsuit allege and how might it be different than the criminal and university cases that preceded it?