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


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?

A jury found former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez guilty of first degree murder for a 2013 execution-style slaying. Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole for shooting Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who at the time was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

The jury took 35 hours over seven days to come to a verdict, so let's take a look at what they decided and what comes next for Hernandez.

On April 15th, Major League Baseball with celebrate Jackie Robinson Day. All players and coaches will wear Robinson's now-retired 42 to mark the day that Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

Robinson's debut helped to end the racial segregation in baseball that had kept black ballplayers in the Negro Leagues since the 1880s, and became a source of inspiration for the burgeoning civil rights movement.

Ex-Giants, Dolphins and Patriots cornerback Will Allen has been charged in a Ponzi scheme that targeted athletes across four major sports. The Securities and Exchange Commission claims Allen and a female partner, Susan Daub, preyed on athletes and defrauded investors in a complicated loan scam.

The names of the athlete-victims have not been released, and both Allen and Daub appear to have attempted to dodge service of the charges to avoid prosecution.

After Swedish prosecutors watched video of former Toronto Maple Leafs player Andre Deveaux viciously slash an opponent in pregame warm ups, they decided to file criminal charges and issued a warrant for his arrest. Which, for hockey fans, may have brought to mind an infamous incident in 2000 when Marty McSorley bashed Donald Brashear in the head with his stick (2:50 into the video), giving him a grade 3 concussion.

McSorley was charged with and found guilty of assault, only the second criminal trial for on-ice violence in a league that tacitly approves of players taking breaks from game play to punch each other in the face from time to time. Punching which, to date, has resulted in zero criminal convictions.

So when does playing a sport constitute a crime? And what kind of game behavior crosses the line from acceptable in a sporting contest to unacceptable in any context?

Former USC defensive lineman Armond Armstead reached a settlement in his lawsuit against the school and a team doctor regarding the doctor's use of the painkiller Toradol. Armstead claimed doctor James Tibone's overuse of the drug led to a heart attack 2011.

The terms of the settlement are confidential.

The Final Four tips off this weekend, and some of us are still clutching a red ink-stained bracket, holding out some hope that we can still win our office March Madness pool. While these office pools aren't exactly legal (don't worry - we won't tell if you don't), what kind of sports gambling, if any, is legal in your state?

Here's a quick survey of the sports gambling laws in each state:

As Aaron Hernandez's fiancee takes the stand in his murder trial on Friday, let's take a look at where the case stands now, and where it might go.

Shayanna Jenkins testified this morning that she got rid of a box that the ex-Patriots star asked her to remove from his home following the murder of Odin Lloyd. Prosecutors already accused Jenkins of lying to a grand jury, so how does her testimony fit in with the evidence the prosecution has presented so far?

As more football players are trademarking their names and catch phrases, one team has been losing its battle to keep the trademark on its controversial mascot.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) cancelled the Washington Redskins' trademark last June, based on the mark being "disparaging to Native Americans." On Monday, the Department of Justice threw its support behind the decision, saying the perspective of Native Americans to the team name outweighed the NFL franchise's alleged intent to honor them.