Tarnished Twenty: Other Sports Archives

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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.

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).

With glory comes a price. American athletes took home a record 121 medals from the Rio 2016 Olympics, including 46 golds. But it's not all profit, sunshine, and rainbows. The tax on winning even a single gold medal could be close to $10,000.

So how much could multiple medal winners end up paying in taxes on the medals themselves and their bonuses? And is there any relief on the horizon?

Ryan Lochte had a truly incredible story about being robbed at gunpoint. The preternaturally adolescent U.S. Olympic swimmer told his mom -- and the FBI, the U.S. State Department, USOC security, and Rio de Janeiro tourist police -- that cop impersonators put a gun to his head in Brazil, taking wallets and cash from he and three other swimmers while they were taking a cab home from a party.

Only that's not what happened. Fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger have admitted to police that Lochte made the whole thing up, and surveillance video shows the group damaging a gas station bathroom door on their way back to the Olympic Village.

For years, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has tried to legalize sports gambling in the state, in an attempt to revitalizing state casino and racetrack industry. Those efforts took a huge turn this week when the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Christie's New Jersey legislation violated federal anti-sports betting laws.

Those of you who've followed the checkered history of state gambling laws (or have happened to see a commercial reassuring you that what happens in a certain city stays in that certain city) may be asking yourselves why some states get to allow sports betting while others cannot. Unfortunately, the Third Circuit's ruling may not clarify that issue for you.

It's not just the NFL that has a concussion lawsuit problem. Jimmy Snuka and 50 other retired wrestlers filed a lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., claiming the enterprise "placed corporate gain over its wrestlers' health, safety and financial security, choosing to leave the plaintiffs severely injured and with no recourse to treat their damaged minds and bodies."

Like previous lawsuits against the NFL and NHL, the WWE claim alleges that the league knew about the long-term neurological effects of wrestling and hid them from athletes. Here's a look at how the latest brain injury lawsuit mirrors and differs from those filed before.

We all want to believe in the integrity of sporting contests, and believe that all of the athletes involved are on a level playing field, physically at least. Hence the drive to define performance enhancing drugs, the continuous testing of athletes, and the hysteria over positive tests.

And while it's easy to become apathetic to the latest reports of doped up athletes -- it may be harder to find the clean ones these days -- some stories are so big they can't help but shock you. Here are three of the biggest doping scandals that still reverberate with fans today:

Over the past year, few have fought as hard or as vocally against daily fantasy websites as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman's office was among the first to begin investigating sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, and soon the AG was demanding that the sites stop taking New Yorkers' money and even return money they had accepted previously. But the icy relationship between NY and DFS may be warming a bit.

The state legislature approved a bill that would legalize and regulate daily fantasy sites last week, perhaps looking for a piece of the billion-dollar online gambling pie. But no touchdown dance yet -- the bill still needs approval from the governor.

We can quibble about whether certain substances are in fact performance enhancing, and we point out that global anti-doping agencies don't always have the most due process-friendly testing and punishment schemes. What we can all agree on, though, is that you can't have one country's drug testing authorities surreptitiously swapping out tainted urine, destroying incriminating samples, and having drug testers threatened by federal security agents.

So it's hard to gather any sympathy for Russia's track and field team, which will be barred from the Olympics in Rio this summer, punishment for the largest drug scandal since East Germany was secretly doping its own athletes in the '60s, '70s, and '80s.

The wide world of sports often exists free of the laws that govern our behavior normally. For instance, cops aren't arresting hockey players for assault and battery after a fight. And teams can punish players for their off-field behavior, even if the authorities don't.

Every now and then, though, federal lawmakers dip their regulatory toes into the sporting water. The Washington Post recently took a look at when, why, and how Congress gets involved in sports, and it got us thinking about other famous (and infamous) times the legislative branch turned its eye to the playing field.