Tarnished Twenty - The FindLaw Sports Law Blog - features sports law news and info about sports figures in trouble with the law


Anti-sports betting laws have often seemed inconsistent. Why can I wager on a game in Las Vegas, but not in Los Angeles? Betting on baseball is cool on one side of Lake Tahoe, but not the other?

A federal gambling statute provided a loophole for Nevada that it denied other states, and some of those states, mainly New Jersey, weren't too happy about that disparate treatment. And the Supreme Court agreed, striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and paving the way for states to decide whether they want to legalize sports betting.

When a coach tells you what to do during a game, you tend to do it. Especially when you're rounding second on a ball lined into the outfield and your third base coach tells you to slide. But when that slide turns into a rolled ankle and permanent injury, is the coach to blame?

A former JV baseball player is suing his coach for exactly that, claiming the game in which he was injured was "negligently" and "carelessly" supervised. His lawsuit was originally tossed out for failing to plead "recklessness," but has been revived on appeal.

A Florida parent of a high school football team captain complained on Twitter about the school's athletic director "falling down drunk and driving on school property multiple times while supervising students." Curiously though, the parent is now facing a legal battle. 

Pompano Beach High Athletic Director Jason Frey sued parent Larry Little for libel and slander. The lawsuit is apparently the latest shot fired in a feud that allegedly stems from Frey suspending Little from volunteering with the football team.

Here's a closer look at the legal spat.

Gabriel Reed has been telling investors that he can organize World Wrestling Entertainment events and hard rock concerts for years. And now those false claims have earned him years behind bars.

Reed, who had been operating as Gabe Reed Productions was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison on wire fraud charges, after promising investors big name events and then using their money for personal expenses like rent and travel.

The relationship between NFL cheerleaders and the teams that employ them has gotten quite litigious over the past few years. The Buffalo Jills sued the Bills franchise, claiming hundreds of hours of unpaid labor along with harassment and degrading sexual comments at team events. A Raiderette sued the Oakland team for numerous wage and hour violations related to minimum wage, overtime, expenses, and breaks. Heck, a San Francisco 49ers cheerleaders even filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL itself, claiming the league "conspired with the Defendant NFL Member Teams to coordinate, encourage, facilitate, and implement the agreement in order to pay female athletes below fair market value."

The lawsuits are often drawn out legal quagmires and in rare cases can result in six-figure settlements that include strong reminders from the teams that they deny any liability or wrongdoing. But two cheerleaders who filed lawsuits against the NFL have a much different settlement idea -- $1 apiece and a meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell.

When Lance Armstrong admitted to doping five years ago, his sponsors were understandably unhappy. None more so than the United States Postal Service, which paid Armstrong more than $30 million over the course of their six-year sponsorship agreement. USPS sued Armstrong, claiming he had violated the contract and unjustly enriched himself, and the government was seeking triple damages -- somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million.

Fortunately for the disgraced cyclist, he was able to settle those claims this week for $5 million, mere pennies on the sponsorship dollar.

LeBron James Sued Over Alleged Stolen Idea

Even if you don't root for the Cleveland Cavaliers, every basketball fan knows about the force that is Lebron James. But you might not know that he's also a very successful businessman and is shooting for billionaire status, with a current net worth of around $400 million. However, some of that wealth may be in jeopardy as James and his multimedia platform Uninterrupted are being sued for allegedly stealing a Michigan man's idea for a barbershop show.

Purdue student Alyssa Chambers is suing basketball player Isaac Haas for $1 million in damages, claiming Haas knowingly infected her with chlamydia during a sexual encounter last year. She is also suing the school for allegedly providing Haas with undocumented medical treatment for STDs, as well as Haas's ex-girlfriend, claiming she either intentionally inflicted emotional harm on Chambers via text messages about the case, or is trying to aid in a cover-up.

Chambers' lawsuit also indicates Haas might've knowingly infected multiple women.

American tennis player Madison Brengle had her first antidoping test in 2009, before Wimbledon. "I hit the floor," Brengle said, regarding the experience. "I passed out from the pain." As it turns out, the phlebotomist performing the test missed her vein on the first two tries, and her vein collapsed on the third try, causing her to lose consciousness.

It also turns out Brengle suffers from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, "a rare medically-diagnosed physical condition which results in both temporary and permanent physical injury." Brengle is suing the WTA, along with the company tasked with administering doping controls for the International Tennis Federation and two employees who subjected Brengle to blood draws.

Concussions have become so common in football that players, for the most part, now know the risks they are undertaking by playing the sport. Likewise, lawsuits involving concussed players have become so common that coaches, administrators, and medical staff are knowledgeable and diligent enough to recognize concussion symptoms and provide treatment as soon as possible. At least, they should be.

That's what one former high school football player claimed in a lawsuit against a San Diego school district after a failure to diagnose and treat a concussion led to brain swelling, emergency surgery, a medically induced coma, and permanent damage to his brain. The school district settled the lawsuit this week, for $7.1 million.