Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

July 2017 Archives

It's safe to say that the tide of public perception of sports gambling has turned in the last ten or twenty years. With the rise of fantasy sports and March Madness, the image of placing bets on sporting events has changed from seedy mob-affiliated bookies to Karen from accounting throwing a few bucks into an office pool. And states, perhaps eyeing the money to be made from legalized sports betting, have begun pushing back on the federal restrictions on gambling.

California is just the latest, with Assembly Constitutional Amendment 18, a proposed bill that would change the state's constitution, paving the way for legalized sports gambling in the Golden State.

The debate over compensating college athletes has raged for decades. And while the idea of paying student athletes a wage for playing a sport (or even allowing them to receive anything of value beyond a scholarship) remains dead on arrival, the notion that players should be compensated for their likeness has been gaining traction recently.

Last year, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the NCAA can't deny student athletes "the monetary value of their names, images and likenesses when used for commercial purposes." Given that colleges and universities were ordered to set aside money for the use of player likenesses until they graduate, the ruling ostensibly applied to athletes while they are enrolled in school. But what about before or after?

We may soon find out, as former Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman has filed a lawsuit against the school and corporate partners Honda, Nike, and IMG College, LLC over the use of his name and image on banners displayed at venerable Ohio Stadium.

While Venus Williams was competing for a Wimbledon title, her lawyers were competing behind the scenes on a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the tennis star. Although police cleared Williams of responsibility in a car accident in Florida that ultimately claimed the life of Jerome Barson, Barson's widow and family sued, and discovery in the case is beginning to heat up.

The Daily Mail reports that Barson's family is requesting Williams's driving records, car insurance documents, and phone bills for the month of June, along with information regarding any and all medications she may have taken before the fatal crash.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a lawsuit, no escape from reality. Open your eyes, look up the Fan Duel and Draft Kings merger to see: the FTC has alleged that the merger violates the Clayton Act due to concerns that it will create a monopoly for daily fantasy sports.

The lawsuit, filed last month by the FTC, seeks to resolve the concern created by the merger by stopping it. Namely, since Fan Duel and Draft Kings are the main providers of paid fantasy sports gaming nationwide, when it comes to these contests or games, consumers don't really have any other choices. By merging together, consumers will have even less choice, and this will allow the sole company resulting from the merger to not have to be concerned about competition in the free market.