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


Baylor Football Coach Fired Over Handling of Player Assault Allegations

A Baptist university in Waco, Texas this week demoted the school president and fired the Baylor Bears football coach after an external review of the handling of sexual abuse allegations, including against football players, proved highly problematic. Independent investigators found that Baylor authorities ignored abuse reports in violation of federal law, according to ESPN.

The now-demoted Baylor president, Kenneth Starr (best known for his investigation of Bill Clinton), apologized to sexual assault victims for his previous indifference, saying he was sorry they were not treated with the care, concern, and support they deserve. Baylor's board of regents too expressed dismay. Let's see what independent investigators found and what the school had to say.

At this point, it can be hard to keep track of which states allow daily fantasy sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, which states have declared it illegal gambling and banned it, and which states have some new regulatory law in place. (Lucky for you, an upstart, independent sports media entity with no vested interest in the success of one of those sites has a handy guide to help.)

The latest developments are coming from the Gem State and Volunteer State, where one state booted DraftKings and FanDuel, while the other declared fantasy sports "illegal gambling" weeks before passing sweeping legislation regulating and taxing daily fantasy sites.

The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held hearings yesterday to examine the legality of daily fantasy sports and whether further federal oversight is needed to regulate the industry. But some major players were missing from that hearing, most notably representatives from DraftKings and FanDuel, the two largest daily fantasy ventures, or anyone from any of the major sports leagues or media companies partnering with daily fantasy sites or pushing their products.

So were the hearings a tree falling in the forest, or a breakthrough for daily fantasy sports?

Major League Baseball was all set to have the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins play in Puerto Rico on May 30 and 31, but enough players were concerned about contracting and transmitting the Zika virus that the league will move the series to Miami instead. The Centers for Disease Control had listed Puerto Rico as an area with active mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika virus.

So what does this mean for the league, legal liability, and future games in the Caribbean?

After being indicted on misdemeanor domestic assault charges last week, Johnny Manziel turned himself in to Highland Park police in Texas yesterday, posing for a mug shot and posting $1,500 bond before being released. The former Texas A&M Aggies and Cleveland Browns QB is scheduled to appear back in court this morning.

The charge stems from a January incident during which Manziel’s then girlfriend Colleen Crowley claims he restrained, beat, and threatened to kill her.

Rafael Nadal has filed a defamation lawsuit against Roselyne Bachelot, France's former minister for health and sport, claiming that statements she made regarding doping damaged his reputation. Bachelot was on French television last month and said Nadal's seven-month injury hiatus in 2012 was "probably due to a positive doping test."

Nadal lashed back, saying, "I am tired about these things. I let it go a few times in the past. No more." The 14-time Grand Slam champion added, "this is going to be the last one because I'm going to sue her."

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court ruling and reinstated the Roger Goodell's four-game suspension of Tom Brady in response to his involvement in a scheme to deflate game balls before the 2014-15 AFC Championship game. An NFL-funded investigation last year determined it was "more probable than not" that Patriots personnel altered game balls and that Brady was likely involved.

Brady and the NFL Players Association challenged the suspension on evidentiary and procedural grounds, but he's running out of options to have the suspension overturned again. So what happens next?

Sports, like any other profession or pastime, has had its share of lawbreakers. From your petty shoplifters to your international conspirators, athletes are just as likely to wind up on the wrong side of the law as the rest of us. The only difference is there's normally a much bigger spotlight on Pacman Jones than your Average Joe.

Here are five of the most infamous criminals from the wide world of sports:

The majority of stadium deals are boondoggles at best and scams at worst -- franchises hold cities hostage, extorting public funds to pay for stadiums in return for the promise to stay and play in that stadium, at least for a few years until the team threatens to leave again, if the city or county don't pony up for improvements or a brand new stadium.

Back in 1998, the Arizona Diamondbacks played their first game in Chase Field, a stadium that cost Maricopa County over $250 million in taxpayer funds. Now the D-Backs are threatening to bail on Chase Field or sue the county if it doesn't pay for improvements or hand the field over to the team.

Nobody likes NFL games on Thursday night. Teams don't like them. Players don't like them. The media don't like them. And fans don't like them. Nobody likes NFL games on Thursday night except for the league, and Twitter, apparently.

The ever-evolving social media app allegedly plunked down $10 million for the right to stream 10 Thursday night NFL games during the 2016-17 season. Considering the NFL started the bidding at $250 million, that's a cut-rate price to air a product most people want cut from the schedule entirely.