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

New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose and two friends were found not liable on all counts in a civil rape trial on Wednesday. The lawsuit was filed by a woman claiming Rose, Ryan Allen, and Randall Hampton drugged and raped her in 2013.

The case was notable not only for its famous defendant, but for some odd pre-trial rulings by the judge and how a civil trial is distinguishable from a criminal one.

It's a story we've heard too many times to count now. From the NFL down to the high school ranks, and from soccer players to the marching band, it seems like the injuries, and deaths, tied to hazing will never cease.

The most recent tale comes from a school you might not expect: the University of Virginia. Often touted as one of the best public universities in the country -- it ranks in U.S. News and World Reports top 10 for 2017 -- UVA is easily more well-known for its off-the-field academic accomplishments than for anything its football team has won. But it seems like the pervasiveness of sports team hazing can even infect a prestigious university. Here's Aidan Howard's story.

Most sports leagues might be excited to see a GIF or Vine of an awesome play go viral -- after all, that's like free advertising for your product, right? But most sports leagues aren't the NFL, and last week the media behemoth took further steps to protect its trademark on even the smallest snippets of game action.

Under the NFL's new social media policy, its own teams can be fined for posting its own video of games on social media, and are barred from using streaming apps like Facebook Live and Periscope to stream in-stadium footage. And violations of the new rules could quickly lead to six-digit fines. Here's a look.

Former Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans had carved out a nice NFL career from 2006 and 2014. Ryans was the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006, made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009, served as a captain in Houston and racked up racked up 939 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and 7 interceptions in his career. Ryans even led the Eagles in tackles his last two seasons.

So by all accounts his illustrious career would've continued, had he not torn his Achilles tendon during a visit to his former team in Houston. Ryans was not the first injured player to complain about Houston's turf problems, and he's now the second to sue them over it.

On the heels of the recent concussion controversy for collegiate and professional football players, numerous lawsuits have been filed by former college football players against the NCAA and their respective colleges. The lawsuits allege that the students suffered injuries as a result of their concussions being improperly handled by the school's coaching and athletics personnel. This past July, a federal judge granted preliminary approval to a $75 million class action settlement against the NCAA for their mishandling of concussions. The settlement, however, did not close the door on all the individual injury claims.

Since the settlement, more individual claims have been filed, including seven additional lawsuits by former players filed in August. This month, ESPN is reporting that the number of cases against the NCAA over the concussion scandal has risen to a whopping 43 individual cases.

In most college sports, there are no ties; you have a winner and a loser. But in a lawsuit involving the administration of college sports, it looks like both sides have battled to a draw.

The Supreme Court last week declined to hear appeals by both the NCAA and Ed O'Bannon involving O'Bannon's lawsuit over the commercial use of college athletes' names, images, and likenesses. The denial leaves in place a lower court ruling that was both favorable and unfavorable for both parties involved, and may have lasting impacts on future college athletes.

Baseball's postseason is upon us (sorry, Mets fans), and players, coaches, and fans will be working around the clock to try and make sure their teams win. And at least two of those three will be adequately compensated for the time they put in. (Heartbreak is its own reward for fans.)

But what about the players on their way to the Big Show? Or the concession workers that make sure the show goes on without a hitch? A new court ruling and new proposed legislation could mean that they don't get overtime pay like other professions. Here's a look into the legal dugout.

New York recently passed a law allowing fantasy sports gaming to continue. This new law is now facing a legal challenge by an anti-gambling group.

Last November, NY Attorney General Schneiderman issued an opinion stating that sites like FanDuel and DraftKings were violating the state's gambling laws. Shortly after the sites stopped operating in NY, the state legislature passed a bill that removed fantasy sports gaming from the state's definition of gambling. The bill characterizes fantasy sports gaming as a game of skill rather than chance, and lays the framework for the state to regulate and tax the big money fantasy sports industry.

The Washington Redskins have faced criticism for decades about their team name and logo being offensive to Native Americans, as the term "Redskins" carries a pejorative meaning and tone. The US Patent and Trademark Office allowed the trademark to be registered half a dozen times in the past. However, in 2014, the USPTO cancelled the prior trademarks and refused to register it again, citing that the name is disparaging to Native Americans.

While the Washington Redskins case is still being appealed in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and thus is not ripe for the Supreme Court to decide, a similar case will be decided this term (assuming there isn't a 4-4 split).

A quick scan of NASCAR's website reveals that not a single one of its 48 Sprint Cup drivers is black, none of NASCAR's senior management is black, and only one of the 18 teams has even partial black ownership. And now a lawsuit is citing the lack of diversity and claiming that NASCAR officials actively prevent black-owned teams and drivers from competing in its top flight.

And the plaintiffs are looking for a $500 million judgment against the racing league.