Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

December 2010 Archives

Obama Thanks Eagles for Michael Vick's Second Chance

Guess who is a fan of Michael Vick? If you read the title, you already know the answer: President Barack Obama. Don't count conservative bow tie wearer Tucker Carlson as a Vick follower, though.

The Commander in Chief called Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, to praise the organization for giving quarterback Michael Vick a second chance, Peter King of Sports Illustrated reports. The compliment comes while Vick is in the midst of a Pro Bowl and potential MVP season for the Eagles, with 20 touchdown passes and 8 rushing touchdowns.

Naturally when Obama calls to thank the Eagles, that is going to be news. But some wonder about the timing coming now, instead of when the Eagles signed Vick. Could it be, dare we say, political? But forget that for a moment.

HS Wrestler Charged with Sexual Battery for Move in Practice

Ever heard of a butt drag? How about "checking the oil?"

After reading three different articles about a wrestling incident in Fresco, California, I finally learned what a butt drag is. It made me very glad that I never tried wrestling in high school. 17-year-old Preston Hill is accused of doing a butt drag to a 14 year old boy during wrestling practice. The police are calling the maneuver sexual battery and bullying. Preston said it was just a part of wrestling and that he had been taught the move by his coaches. However, Preston has been suspended pending an expulsion hearing.

Shaun Ellis Snowball 'Attack': Fan Sues Jets Star for Tossing Snow

It wasn't really a snowball that got a Jets defensive end into trouble with the NFL, and now into a lawsuit. It was really more of a snow boulder, or as the NFL spokesman put it, a "chunk" of snow. Regardless, the renown Sean Ellis snowball fight led to his being fined $10,000 by the NFL and now to a suit filed last week in a Washington state superior court.

The incident which lead to the lawsuit is shown on a popular video posted many places including this, from the New York Post. According to the Post's report, after the Jets' loss to the Seahawks in December of 2008, the players were heading off the field when they were pelted with flying snowballs from the stands. Talk about sore winners. A fan in the corner of the stands is waving a sign, which according to the suit, makes him a "target" for Ellis.

Brett Favre Sexting Scandal: NFL Being Strong-Armed by Sterger

The Brett Favre sexting scandal has not ended with a simple click of the delete button. Just as Favre won't stay retired, his sexting scandal lives on.

Jenn Sterger, the former New York Jets gameday host and recipient of Favre's "affections" seems to have picked up some football moves of her own. Sterger is essentially strong arming the NFL in demanding Favre's suspension from the Minnesota Vikings.

And here is her ultimatum: "If the commissioner suspends Favre and puts a program in place to prevent it from happening again ... 100% Jenn would not pursue any litigation against Favre, against the Jets, against the NFL. Nothing. All she wants is to clear her name. This is not about the money," USA Today quotes Sterger's manager Phil Reese.

Many believe Sterger should sue Favre or not sue him. Sue the NFL or don't. This ultimatum over the alleged Brett Favre sexting to the NFL is strange new territory.

Michael Vick Wants Dog? Says it Would Help Him Rehabilitate

What does Michael Vick want for Christmas? You guessed it: Michael Vick wants a dog.

Surely he can afford a new pooch, but there is one large legal problem standing in his way: as part of his federal sentence for dog fighting, Vick has a lifetime ban from ever owning a canine again. The ban was part of his punishment for federal dogfighting and gambling charges.

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback has certainly been punished for his illegal actions; in addition to serving jail time (18 months) he was also suspended from the NFL and paid heavy fines. But he tells USA Today wants to put the past behind him and convince the court that he is worthy of being a dog owner again.

Jets Coach Fired for 'Player Wall?' Suspension Could be For Good

"Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing." It's a phrase widely attributed to legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. But Coach Lombardi never advocated cheating.

It seems that New York Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi may have taken Lombardi's famous words too far. The disgraced Alosi tripped Miami Dolphins player Nolan Carroll during the Jets vs. Dolphins game Sunday.

It turns out that not only did the Jets coach trip Carroll, he also instructed several Jets to form a players wall on the sideline to illegally block Dolphins players from advancing downfield in the course of punt coverage. When the Jets learned of Sal Alosi's underhanded directives, they suspended him "indefinitely."

Don't be surprised if the next headline reads "Jets Coach Sal Alosi Fired."

Jets Coach Trips Player: Could He Get Sued?

Did you know that in 1978, Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes tackled a Clemson linebacker after he made a crucial interception in what would become an Ohio State loss? Hayes was later fired by the university. So it comes as little surprise that the Jets came down hard on Sal Alosi, after the coach intentionally tripped Miami Dolphins player Nolan Carroll during the Jets vs. Dolphins game.

Alosi has been fined $25,000 and suspended without pay for the remainder of the season for his actions, effective immediately, including playoff games, ESPN reports. Alosi will have no access to the Jets' facilities and may not interact with the coaches or players. The league will not be enforcing any additional penalties.

MTV Sued for Airing 'Super Bowl Shuffle' Without Permission

"We are the Bears Shufflin' Crew
Shufflin' on down, doin' it for you.
We're so bad we know we're good.
Blowin' your mind like we knew we would.
You know we're just struttin' for fun
Struttin' our stuff for everyone.
We're not here to start no trouble.
We're just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle."
 -- Super Bowl Shuffle, Chicago Bears, 1985

It sounds incredibly corny now, but it was a big hit in 1985. In some ways, it's still popular now.

That would explain why Viacom allegedly used the video on MTV and VH1 despite not having permission. 

Julia Meyer, who owns the rights to the video, is now suing Viacom for airing the video without permission. Meyer filed suit in Chicago in federal court. According to the lawsuit, there are parties interested in the video, which Viacom undermined by playing. Meyer is asking for a jury to determine damages.

LA Dodgers are Community Property, Jamie McCourt Co-Owns Team

A judge has declared the post-nuptial agreement entered into between Frank and Jamie McCourt is invalid. This means the Dodgers have been ruled community property, which is a victory for Jamie McCourt.

Jamie and Frank McCourt first met in 1979 and eventually became extremely wealthy during the course of their 31 years of marriage. They purchased the Dodgers only to quickly have their marriage fall apart. Recently the ownership of the team was called into dispute during their bitter divorce.

Transgendered Golfer Lana Lawless Can Play in LPGA

In October, we noted that transgendered golfer Lana Lawless had filed suit against the LPGA and the Long Drivers of America to remove rules that banned her from competition. The LPGA players themselves addressed the issue, handing Lawless (and other transgendered women) a win. The players voted Dec. 1 to remove the rule requiring LPGA golfers be "female at birth" to compete in tournaments.

Lawless filed suit to prevent the LPGA and the Long Drivers of America from holding events in California as long as they were allegedly in violation of the state's civil rights laws. Lawless had competed in long drive competitions and won the 2008 championship before the rules were changed to conform to those of the LPGA, making her ineligible.

Cam Newton Eligible to Play Despite Rules Violation

The NCAA declared Auburn quarterback Cam Newton eligible to play in the SEC title game. This despite the fact that the NCAA determined his father shopped his son's services to another school. The Heisman front-runner now has the go ahead to play without any conditions.

Auburn plays South Carolina this weekend in the Southeastern Conference championship. If Auburn wins, they will play for the national championship.

Newton's father allegedly approached Mississippi State University seeking $180,000 for him to play football for the University. There has not been any evidence tying Cam Newton to the alleged actions of his father, however. The NCAA interviewed Newton, his parents and others linked to the pay-for-play scandal.

Songs Aimed at Cam Newton Get Alabama Employee Fired

Tyler Durden: Oh I get it, it's very clever.
Narrator: Thank you.
Tyler Durden: How's that working out for you?
Narrator: What?
Tyler Durden: Being clever.

- Fight Club (1999)

Being clever has its price. An employee at The University of Alabama found that out the hard way after a dig at Auburn quarterback Cam Newton on Saturday. The Auburn-Alabama rivalry sparked some creativity on the part of the Alabama employee, who made a dig at the Cam Newton scandal. The creativity went a bit too far and got her fired.