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

After a judge dismissed domestic violence charges against Hope Solo in January, an appeals court reinstated the charges today. The American goalkeeper that lead the national team to World Cup glory this past summer is accused of attacking her half-sister and nephew last year.

There is no timetable set for her trial yet, and Solo's attorney says he will appeal the decision.

Lance Armstrong won seven consecutive Tours de France and was the face of one of the most popular charities in the world. Then he admitted to doping and it turned out his charity was a sham. Since then, everyone from his team sponsors to people who bought his book has wanted their money back.

One of those seeking repayment was a promotions company that paid Armstrong prize money for his Tour victories. After being ordered to pay back the money, Armstrong has settled with the company.

You didn't need to be a futbolista to have heard rumblings about FIFA corruption or the shady dealings of its President, Sepp Blatter. And those that love soccer have long awaited the day when all those rumblings and rumors and allegations would finally turn into criminal charges.

Well, my friends, that promised day is finally come. The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has opened a criminal investigation of Mr. Joseph Blatter, charging him on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation. Rejoice!

What Are Tebow Laws?

He may not be on an NFL roster this season and it's been ten years since he played high school football, but Tim Tebow is still having an impact on how we view the relationship between home schooling and high school sports.

So-called Tim Tebow laws aim to allow homeschooled kids to play on public school athletic teams, as their namesake did in Florida under similar legislation. But passing these laws isn't easy, as a few states have recently found out.

Two Texas high school football players who appeared to target a referee in a game earlier this month have confirmed that they did hit the referee on purpose, and that they were acting on their coach's orders.

Victor Rojas and Michael Moreno told "Good Morning America" on Friday that they hit referee Robert Watts intentionally. Rojas said John Jay High School assistant coach Mack Breed told them to hit Watts and the attack was in response to Watts allegedly using racial slurs in reference to John Jay players.

A plucky sports bar in San Francisco is challenging DirecTV's exclusive rights to every NFL game played on Sundays with a class action lawsuit. Claiming that the monopoly enjoyed by DirecTV over the NFL Sunday Ticket package has led to artificially inflated prices, The Mucky Duck is asking federal court to break up the exclusive deal and award them (and other customers) damages.

If the court rules against DirecTV, it could mean cheaper prices for the package, availability on more cable providers, or both. But don't get too excited -- it may be a while before this one gets sorted out.

Yes, yes, we've all heard the slogan before -- What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. And much of what happens in Vegas, i.e., the gambling, can only happen in Vegas. And other places in Nevada. And Atlantic City. And at horse tracks. And off track betting sites. And in fantasy leagues. And pretty much everywhere, to the tune of $95 billion estimated to be gambled just on the NFL and college football this season.

So is it time the United States caught up with other countries and legalized sports betting?

It's been a heckuva summer for the San Francisco 49ers. Young players have unexpectedly retired over head trauma fears and to just "take a year or so" off football. They released troubled linebacker Aldon Smith after yet another arrest. Not even the grass at their brand new stadium is cooperating.

And now come some of the most disturbing allegations yet: that current linebacker Ahmad Brooks and former defensive end Ray McDonald sexually assaulted the same woman in separate incidents at McDonald's home last December.

In what seems to be a regular occurrence for the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell, a federal district court has overturned league discipline, vacating Tom Brady's four-game suspension for allegedly tampering with the air pressure in a few footballs.

By our count, Goodell is now 0-4 on major punishment cases, but that hasn't deterred him from appealing his latest defeat. Does he have a shot at reversing this latest decision?

Cris Carter, who is a former all-pro wide receiver, current NFL broadcast personality, Hall of Famer, and most certainly not an attorney, nevertheless had some sage legal advice for NFL noobs at last year's rookie symposium: "If y'all got a crew, you got to have a fall guy in the crew."

Children, listen to your elder, who was banned his senior season in college for signing with an agent, cut from his first pro team for drug and alcohol abuse, and seemingly has no idea how the criminal justice system works.