Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

July 2009 Archives

Michael Vick's prison sentence ended today with the removal of an ankle monitor used during his home confinement. He has served about 21 months in federal custody. So what happens now?

Vick has completed the confinement portion of his federal sentence, with 18 months in prison and two more on home confinement. He will now remain on "supervised release" for three years, a condition similar to being on probation, but imposed after a prison sentence. If Vick violates the conditions of his supervised release -- fails a drug test, commits another crime, or the like -- he could be sent back to prison for all or part of those three years.

Vick also pleaded guilty to state charges in Virginia related to the dogfighting operation and was given a suspended sentence of three years. Like supervised release, a suspended sentence is usually conditioned on good behavior by the defendant. Once again, Vick will need to stay out of trouble to avoid facing possible imprisonment in Virginia.
The Chicago Cubs are really working hard this year to get fans to forget about their 100-year championship drought. Not by winning games, of course -- though they are currently hovering around .500 and could be called contenders in the NL Central. Instead, they've been drawing fans' attention to off-field issues and player meltdowns.

First came the Rod Blagojevich scandal, in which the team was admittedly blameless, but still found itself in the papers after the governor was accused, among his many crimes, of trying to extort the team's owner, newspaper publisher Tribune Company, by threatening to hold up state financing aid for the sale of Wrigley Field.

Then May and June saw a series of temper tantrums and bizarre behavior from the likes of Milton Bradley (as reported by Fanhouse) and Carlos Zambrano (not-to-be-missed video from MLB.com).

And now they may be going for broke. Literally.

Getting Kicked Out of Game Pays Off

A fan who claimed he got kicked out of Yankee stadium after he left his seat during the playing of "God Bless America", is getting himself a nice settlement check that may help offset any potential hefty Yankee ticket prices for a while. A settlement between plaintiff Bradford Campeau-Laurion and the city of New York and the Yankees provides that he'll receive about $10,000 from the city, while the New York Civil Liberties Union will get $12,000 in legal fees. Sounds like it must have been quite the boot he was given, right?

Well, before we get to what went down, one story provided some background on the playing of the song, as follows:

"'God Bless America,' written by Irving Berlin in 1918, was played at big league ballparks throughout the country when baseball resumed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was discontinued in some cities the following seasons but remained a fixture at Yankees games, at which security personnel and ushers use chains to block off some exits while it's played."