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


Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson has earned more than $18 million over his nine-year NHL hockey career. But according to bankruptcy documents filed last month in federal court, it's almost all gone.

Not only is Jack Johnson broke, but Johnson has outstanding debts of as much as $15 million, reports The Columbus Dispatch. And while the story of a professional athlete squandering large sums of money is nothing new, Johnson's path to bankruptcy has an especially cruel twist. Many of the financial decisions that led him to this point were made by his parents, to whom he had given full control of his finances.

What can be learned from Jack Johnson's bankruptcy? Here are three lessons:

During his days as a baseball player, Jose Canseco was known for his on-field prowess as well as his often-strange behavior.

Though Canseco retired from baseball in 2002, he has continued to be known for saying, and doing, some fairly peculiar things. Canseco's latest stunt may be his most far-out yet: After shooting off his finger in a gun-cleaning accident, then losing the reattached finger during a poker game, Canseco is now offering to sell the severed finger on eBay, reports San Francisco's KPIX-TV.

Wait, what?

The New York Times has released details of an investigation into whether two Florida State University football players were given preferential treatment by police after a hit-and-run accident this fall.

On October 5, a starting cornerback for the FSU Seminoles, P.J. Williams, was driving with the team's other cornerback, Ronald Darby, along with an unidentified passenger. At 2:37 a.m., Williams crashed into an oncoming vehicle driven by a teenager, totaling both vehicles.

Williams and his passengers then ran off; when Williams eventually returned to the scene, he was issued two relatively minor traffic tickets and not charged with hit-and-run, the Times reports.

The Sayreville War Memorial High School football players implicated in the team's hazing scandal will be tried as juveniles.

Prosecutors announced on Monday that they have decided to try the seven Sayreville players charged with crimes in family court, reports The Star-Ledger. Prosecutors had been considering moving the criminal cases against the players to the adult criminal justice system using New Jersey's judicial waiver rules.

What does this decision mean for the players charged in connection with the hazing?

Prosecutors have decided not to file domestic abuse charges against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald.

Following an investigation, Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Lindsay Walsh cited "lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a significant lack of cooperation" from the reported victim in opting not to file charges against McDonald, reports ESPN. McDonald was arrested on August 31 for felony domestic violence.

What led to McDonald's arrest?

New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez allegedly admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs during a meeting with the Drug Enforcement Agency earlier this year.

The admission is contained in DEA documents provided to defense attorneys for former University of Miami pitching coach Lazaro "Laser" Collazo, reports ESPN. Collazo and Rodriguez were both implicated in the wide-ranging investigation into Florida's Biogenesis of American clinic, which allegedly supplied performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) to a number of Major League Baseball players, including Rodriguez.

What do you need to know about the most recent twist in the long-running scandal?

A former cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens has been arrested and charged with the rape of a 15-year-old boy.

Molly Shattuck, 47, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy who attended the same Maryland school as one of her three children, ABC News reports. According to police, the relationship between Shattuck and the boy began in Maryland, but Shattuck is being charged in Delaware where the more serious allegations took place.

Who is Molly Shattuck and what kind of criminal penalties is she now facing for her alleged sexual crimes?

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault in a plea deal with prosecutors in his Texas child abuse case.

The deal allows Peterson to avoid serving any jail time, reports USA Today. Instead, Peterson will serve 80 hours of community service and pay a $4,000 fine along with court costs.

The plea deal also may open the door to Peterson's return to the NFL.

220 former players and family members of deceased players have opted out of the pending settlement of player concussion claims against the NFL.

The 220 who opted out represent just a fraction of the nearly 34,000 former players and relatives of deceased players who were sent notices regarding the potential settlement, reports Yahoo Sports. In addition to the 220 players or family members who opted out of the settlement -- which will likely total $765 million or more -- another 14 attempted to opt out but filed their requests too late.

What does opting out mean for the players or family members who chose to do so?

The Federal Aviation Administration is cracking down on the use of drones near major sporting events.

Regulating the airspace around sporting events isn't new. Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the FAA designated stadiums as national defense airspace, prohibiting aircraft from coming within 3 miles or under 3,000 feet of stadiums during games, reports The Verge. But the agency recently clarified how this rule affects the use of remote controlled and unmanned drones.

What does the FAA's recent rule update mean for drone enthusiasts considering bringing their RC aircraft to a sporting event?