Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

October 2010 Archives

6 OSU Athletes Charged with Crimes in 1 Week

Oklahoma State University has been in the news quite a bit lately, though not for the reasons their chancellor would like. A total of six student athletes have been arrested for crimes including larceny and DUI in the past week. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon of the football team was arrested for DUI and has been suspended.

In addition, five members of the wrestling team are in trouble after a party and subsequent events near campus that ended in a fight. Apparently, during the fight, one of the parties lost their wallet.

Ex NY Giant Lawrence Taylor's Case Closer to Trial

Going to court on charges of statutory rape is no laughing matter. Unless you are ex NY Giant Lawrence Taylor. The NY Daily News reports that 51-year-old Taylor showed up to a court hearing in great spirits, laughing and hugging friends as he entered the Rockland County Court. Currently, Taylor is deciding whether or not to accept the plea bargain or head to trial.

Lawrence Taylor's case over a sexual encounter with a 16-year-old runaway is getting closer to trial but you wouldn't know that by looking at his casual attire. The NY Daily News quotes Taylor's lawyer Arthur Aidala, "My client asked me to profusely apologize to the court for not having a jacket and tie." Although the judge found Taylor to be "suitably attired," this does beg the question: What is appropriate courtroom attire?

Yankees Fans Spit, Throw Beer at Cliff Lee's Wife Kristen Lee

Cliff Lee has been nothing short of spectacular in the post season this year. The Texas Rangers traded for Lee in July. He is now 7-0 in eight starts with a 1.26 ERA, 67 strikeouts and three complete games.

There is already talk about Lee being the hottest pitcher on the market this offseason. Of course, first, there is the small matter of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants left to play.

So where does the hottest pitcher on the free agent market go most years? Why the Yankees, of course. But some are questioning whether Lee will be interested in doning the pinstripes after the treatment his wife, Kristen Lee, recently received from New York fans. It all stems from an alleged ugly incident that Kristen Lee says happened at Yankee Stadium when the Rangers played the Yankees in the ALCS.

Mark Cuban Offers to Hire Lawyers to Prosecute Him

He's only trying to help. That is the way that lawyers for billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban are spinning an usual request to the judge in Cuban's insider trading case.

Due to a huge number of documents in the case, it is taking the Securities and Exchange Commission attorneys a long time to review the relevant documents and produce the ones Cuban's attorneys want to review. So Cuban has offered to dig into his own deep pockets and hire some contract attorneys to help the government out.

Unsurprisingly, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton, who is hearing the case, has some doubts about the move, reports Bloomberg. Even less surprisingly, the SEC has some objections. Judge Walton has asked the SEC to consider whether hiring outside contractors would violate federal hiring regulations or cause problems with the review of classified documents. The SEC says the extra "help" would only allow a wealthy defendant to line jump others due to the extra resources he can afford to toss at his case.

Ex-Yankee Jim Leyritz Headed to Trial in Fatal DUI

Ex-Yankee Jim Leyritz is headed to trial in the fatal DUI crash that took the life of 30-year-old Fredia Veitch back in 2007. The DUI trial comes on the heels of a wrongful death suit Leyritz settled earlier this year in which he paid the victim's family a $250,000 lump-sum payment and is scheduled to make one hundred $1,000-a-month payments starting in 2011.

Leyritz, 47, was at a local Florida bar celebrating his birthday the night before the deadly collision, CNN reports. Although the prosecution has video footage of Leyritz failing field sobriety tests, as well as records of his blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit in Florida, he maintains that he was not impaired at the time of the fatal crash.

Pace Player Danroy Henry Death: Investigation Continues

The tragic shooting of Danroy Henry, Jr., a student and football player at Pace University, has caused controversy as the investigation continues.

A wild party during Pace University's homecoming ended with Henry shot and killed by police last weekend. Police were surrounded by an unruly crowd when they approached Henry's car and the car tried to pull away. According to the family of Pace player Brandon Cox, a teammate, Danroy Henry thought police were telling him to move his car out of the fire lane. Henry was the designed driver that night and had no prior criminal record, ABC reports.

UWGB Soccer Players Accused of Rape, Suspended

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay soccer team may be in a whole lotta trouble these days, and I am talking way more than a red card. The Chicago Tribune reports that two UWGB soccer players have been accused of rape and suspended from the team.

Although few details are known at this time, The Tribune fills in some specifics of the incident: an alleged victim contacted police and said she had been assaulted by two players at an on-campus apartment ... she told investigators she couldn't remember all the details because she was apparently drugged. She says she wound up back at her home about 12 hours later and went to the hospital. The victim also claims she only had one drink the night of the incident.

Colts Punter Pat McAfee Arrested for Public Intoxication

Kickers and punters tend to be weird dudes.

Punter Pat McAfee of the Indianapolis Colts demonstrated that he is no exception to that rule. McAfee decided that since his team was on its bye week, it was time to let off a little steam. "Bye week bye week bye week. Time to get some ish done. Happy Tuesday Party people, I hope you're all kickin' todays ass," McAfee posted to Twitter that evening.

Fast forward a few hours to 5 a.m., when police were called to a popular nightlife district after he allegedly approached a red light with his shirt off and scared the driver. McAfee then reportedly went for a swim in a nearby canal.

When police arrived, they found McAfee soaking wet. They asked him if he had been swimming in the canal and he said that he wasn't sure and that he was wet because it was raining, though it wasn't. Officers then asked him how much alcohol he had consumed, to which he responded, "A lot, cause I'm drunk." An instant classic response.

Football's 'Big Hits': A Lawsuit in the Making?

Football is a violent sport. No one disputes that. However, a conversation is taking place around the NFL and other football organizations as to "big hits," and whether players are intentionally injuring opponents. The NFL recently announced that it is going to take a closer look at concussions and that players will be suspended for "devastating hits and head shots." The league has been under fire as medical evidence continues to demonstrate the seriousness of head injuries caused by violent football hits.

One aspect that hasn't received much attention is the doctrine of primary implied assumption of risk. Primary what? Go with me for a second here, and you'll have some interesting material for your next cocktail party.

Duke, AIG in Settlement Talks Over Lacrosse Rape Case

It's the case of: "who has to foot the bill?"

Duke University filed a motion in federal court last week regarding the 2006 Duke lacrosse rape case. The motion was a joint motion asking for more time from Duke and National Union Fire Insurance Company, an affiliate of insurance giant AIG. According to the motion, Duke and National Union have engaged in mediation and hope to make a deal on November 4.

After reviewing the motion, U.S. District Court Judge James Beaty Jr. decided to extend the deadline for pre-trial discovery to January 4, 2011. Judge Beaty cited several reasons for extending the deadline, including the fact that a National Union attorney had to delay talks due to cancer treatment. Further, Beaty found that allowing time to continue to talks would contribute to judicial efficiency and help both sides avoid costly ongoing litigation.

Washington St. Teammates Caught with 38 Marijuana Plants

It's good to be industrious and start a business while you're in college. However, it's best to choose a line of work that isn't illegal.

Two Washington St. football players may have learned this lesson a day late. Jamal Atofau and Andre Barrington were arrested after Pullman police found 38 marijuana plants growing in the house that they were renting with two other people.

Transgendered Golfer Lana Lawless Takes on LPGA

A bit of well-tended sod might get torn up in the coming weeks as the result of a ground-breaking lawsuit filed in San Francisco on October 12. Lana Lawless, a transgendered woman and 2008 Long Drive golf champion, is suing the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) to be allowed to compete. Currently, the rules of the LPGA require anyone competing in its tournaments to be "born a woman."

Dolan Law Firm, which filed suit on behalf of Lana Lawless, is charging the LPGA and co-defendants the Long Drivers of America, CVS Pharmacy and other corporate sponsors violated California civil rights law (the Unruh Act), unfair business practices laws and illegally interfered with Lawless's economic interests. The complaint seeks unspecified general and punitive damages. Although Lawless was the 2008 champion in a LDA long drive competition, the association changed its rules to conform to those of the LPGA, thus preventing her from playing in future competitions.

Caleb King: 11th Georgia Football Player Arrested This Year

The University of Georgia football team is making more appearances in court than touchdowns this season. Caleb King is the helping keep the legal score high, becoming the 11th Georgia Bulldogs football player to be arrested this year. Even UGA'S athletic director has been arrested in recent times. Like any good team does to vary up the plays, the bulldogs are at least varying up their criminal charges.

Caleb King is a junior running back for UGA. The Associated Press reports that King was arrested after failing to appear in court for a recent speeding ticket. King was originally cited for going 78 in a 55 mph zone. King was in a car with his brother when they got pulled over and police realized there was a bench warrant out for his arrest.

Baylor Teammates Fall Asleep at Taco Bell, Busted for Drug Possession

These guys might be more annoying than that dog that used to shill for Taco Bell. Remember the shrill voiced Chihuahua demanding tacos in the commercials? Two football players from Baylor University in Texas did something so ridiculous, they are making that dog look savvy. Willie Jefferson and Josh Gordon were arrested early Sunday morning when cops found them passed out in their car in the drive thru lane at a Taco Bell near the Baylor campus.

After being called to the scene of a immobile car in the drive thru at about 2 a.m. on October 3, police looked in the car to find Jefferson sound asleep (or passed out cold, take your pick) behind the wheel and Gordon in the passenger seat, reports the Associated Press. The officers allegedly spotted bags of marijuana on the console and scattered on the floor of the car as well. Easy touchdown for the cops; Willie Jefferson and Josh Gordon were arrested on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession.

Roberto Alomar's Wife Accused Him of Spreading HIV

Of all the surefire ways to make another person angry, giving them HIV has to be pretty high up on the list. So it should come as little surprise that after the wife of a former baseball star allegedly discovered that her husband had HIV, she left Alomar and sued him.

Roberto Alomar's wife, who has filed for divorce, alleges that he had unprotected sex with her despite the fact that he knew he had HIV. According to the divorce papers filed by Maria Del Pilar Rivera Alomar, Alomar "knew prior to his first sexual contact with (her) that he was HIV-positive," reported the New York Post.

Panthers WR Dwayne Jarrett Arrested for DWI, Released from Team

People often complain that professional athletes are above the law. That they lead lives of privilege and can misbehave without consequence. Like most things in life, the reality isn't quite so simple. For example, the average NFL career lasts just three seasons, and 78 percent of NFL players go bankrupt within two years of retirement. And when players get in trouble off the field, they can see it impact their career, often in a greater way than the average citizen.

Take Dwayne Jarrett, 24, of the Carolina Panthers, who was released Tuesday after being arrested for the second time in three years on charges of DUI. He was pulled over on Interstate 77 in Charlotte for speeding around 2 a.m. The police suspected he was intoxicated. Dwayne Jarrett declined to take a breath test but he did later provide a blood test, the results of which will not be known for weeks.

'SC' Trademark Dispute: SC Belongs to Southern Cal

Fight on. Although the University of Southern California may not be having the winning football season they have enjoyed in past years, there is one place they are putting up a victory -- at the Supreme Court. In the battle of the USCs, pitting the Southern California school against the University of South Carolina, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld (by denying to hear the case) the SC trademark dispute concerning the school's logo in favor of the Trojans.

The case, which has been going on since 1997, concerned whether the interlocking "SC" letters used by both teams was trademarked by the University of Southern California. The general inquiry in any trademark dispute is whether there is a likelihood of confusion in allowing both to use the same or similar trademarked item.

Tour de France Champion Contador Fails Doping Test

Doping scandals and the Tour de France seem to go together like peanuts and peanut butter. Three-time and 2010 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador has tested positive for a banned steroid, clenbuterol, taken during the race. But rest not lovers of sport and truth...Contador has a perfectly reasonable explanation for his failed doping test: bad meat. "It is a food contamination case of which I am the victim," Contador said.

Contador, of Spain, who has now been provisionally suspended from cycling by the Union Cycliste Internationale, cycling's governing body. But Contador remains adamant that he is innocent and that the food contamination theory is for real. According to Contador, several riders ate bad meat during the race. After he tested positive, Contador says that he asked the UCI which other riders passed the test, CNN.com reports "...the only one who passed the control ... was Alexandre Vinokourov. [He was the only one of the riders] who did not eat the meat on that day."